Vornagar are a Melodic Death Metal band from Los Gatos, California. Haven't heard of them" I'm not surprised, they haven't done any big tours, and mostly play local shows, so they must not be that good right" WRONG! Vornagar along with Arsis are giving American Melodic Death Metal a good name again. No Gothenburg rip-offs here, just pure Melo Death. This band first came to my attention a few months ago courtesy of fellow Mxer KillaBees_77, at first I didn't think much of them until I heard Hyperion, that song just clicked for me, and since then I have been in love with these guys. I knew their drummer [Marco Pitruzella (ex Vital Remains live drummer)] was good, but it wasn't until my good friend Death Metal Dave informed me that he brooke the record for the most single hits on a bass drum in a minute, with 1167 Marco shattered the previous record of 1030! Now here is a review for Vornagar's first full-length, The Bleeding Holocaust.
The Bleeding Holocaust is one of the better albums to come out of America in the last two years. I know what you're thinking, and yes that is hyperbole. But honestly this album is really quite good. Blending Marco Pintruzella's insanely fast drumming, with the harsh vocals of Carl Pitlick, the bass playing of Matt Rosenberg, and the twin guitar assault from Greg Larrenaga, and Jay Rodriguez, The Bleeding Holocaust is literally a blend of Melody and Death Metal.
The producing on this album is pretty good. It's not over or underproduced. Sadly the bass is almost completely silent, there are a few instances where he is heard, but for the most part Matt's absent. Besides that however, the instruments all sound top notch. The drums cut through the wall of guitars and vocals with ease, and the tone is almost exact to that of his live tone. The bass drums sound incredible. The rest of the drums all go together as well, by that I mean they all sound like real drums, I'm not entirely sure but I'm about 99% sure he uses triggers on his bass drums, but they don't sound fake like some drummers who just pro tool the shit
out of everything. The guitars also sound awesome, they have a little bit of fuzz, but all of their notes shine through,
Now like I've said before the instruments are all in top form, even the vocals are good, but sadly Carl fails to distinguish himself from the huge amount of other melodic death vocalists. The drumming like I've said is impeccable. Marco is truly one of the best metal drummers alive today. They add to each and ever song, whether it's blast beats, or just a nicely placed double or triplet.
Another thing is the whole band is all in sync together. They all compliment each other pretty damn well. The drums don't try to be the main focus of the album, nor do the guitars, vocals, or obviously bass. I've talked enough about Marco though, onto the rest of the band. Greg and Jay are both exemplary tremolo pickers. :) I know this sounds easy, but changing frets and strings often it can become tricky. But these guys can do more then that, there are a few part on this album that really caught my attention, for example the solo in When the Mist Hath Fallen, whilst not incredibly technical just really stood out to me as unique.
None of this album seems, bland or dull. I listen to my fair share of Gothenburg, and I can safely say this album doesn't rip off of any of the bands in this genre, or really any other bands from the Death and Melodic Death genres respectively. I guess you could say that Carl sounds just like every other Melodic Death "shrieker" out there, and I'd have to agree. If there was any low point to this album, that'd be it. I like his voice and tone, it's very powerful, but unfortunately it sounds just like all of the other screamers out there, and him screaming in pretty much the same voice throughout with some variation between low growls and mid level shrieks it all sounds a bit samey. Maybe some clean singing on this album would help, though I can't think of where to put them.
The Bleeding Holocaust is really quite interesting. On one hand you have the fast paced hard hitting rhythm section made up of Marco, Matt, Jay and/or Greg, and on the other you have melodies made by Carl, and either Greg or Jay. This band really compensates the two nicely. On most of the sections you will find not only a driving rhythm, but also a nice melodic part over it.
-Only 9 songs long
-Not even 45 minutes in length
Now to wrap this already long review up. Vornagar are a spectacular underground Metal band. They are worth checking out, and you can tell their hearts are in the right places, they don't care about money or being popular just about making good music and having a great time. Their entire album is available for download on their website www.vornagar.com so do yourself a favor and download it. The only reason this album is not recieving a 5/5 rating, is because in order to be a classic you must be able to impact a lot of people with the album, this album is not incredibly popular, and thus can't be enjoyed by thousands.