Vengeance Rising - Once Dead

Saturday 1st September 1990
Vengeance Rising - Once Dead

STYLE: Hard Music
RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
LABEL: Intense RO9077

Reviewed by Dave Caughey

In 1988 Vengeance released their legendary classic debut "Human Sacrifice" which breathed much needed freshness into the some­what stale white metal scene. Now at last the band,  under the moniker of Vengeance Rising (to avoid confusion with the Dutch Vengeance) have  released their second album "Once Dead" kicks off with the brutal "Warfare" which is thrash at its most intense with guitarists Larry Farkas and Doug Thiene riffing away like madmen. Anyone who has never heard the band before needs to be warned about singer Roger Martinez's vocal style which sounds like someone gargling razor blades.   However fans of Napalm Death should love his little doggy growls.   "Once Dead" is more diverse than its predecessor with more slow tracks which tend to get quite tedious ("Into The Abyss" for example). This album sees a weird and wacky cover of Deep Purple's "Space Truckin" and an almost One Bad Pig style track called "Out Of The Will" as well as their usual thrash mayhem. These with other tracks such as "The Wrath To Come", complete with an amazing guitar riff, and "Among The Dead" which features a Vengeance Rising first— Mr. Martinez singing instead of growling-have a consistent quality.   Lyrically Vengeance Rising are very Bible based which is not surprising given that Roger Martinez is a Pastor at Sanctuary and an accomplished Bible teacher. Almost every line on this album is accompanied by a Bible verse, giving enough material for weeks of Bible studies.   It is arguable whether "Once Dead" is as good as "Human Sacrifice" but it still leaves most other White Metal albums well behind in terms of imagination and sheer execution. Buy this one for the local metal head who calls Stryper "a bunch of wimps"

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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Reader Comments

Posted by John in Texas @ 20:23 on Mar 24 2008

This was a great album! This was my first introduction to stuff heavier than Iron Maiden. I loved the Space Truckin' cover. Over all the album was one of my favorites for years. Too bad Roger Martinez had to go off the deep end! I have run into a lot of people at concerts that said this was an album that really got them into death metal in the first place.

Posted by Kieran James in Towoomba, Queensland @ 06:48 on Mar 20 2008

Could not agree more, brilliant band!

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