CD Reviews

Vomitron - 'No NES For The Wicked' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     April 07, 2012    
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Instrumental metal versions of themes from original NES games.

Vomitron is a solo project by keyboardist/guitarist Peter Rutcho from Southern Massachusetts. Rutcho is fairly well known on his local scene playing keys in MA heavy metal bands Frozen and Armoury and guitar in thrash metal band Graveheart. In 1999 he set up his own project entitled Vomitron and the self titled debut effort came out in 2007. At the end of 2011 the follow up release was completed. This second album ‘No NES For The Wicked’ consist of instrumental metal versions of themes from original NES games.

The album opens with a short recorded track of Rutcho being unable to get his console working and cursing it which adds an amusing air of realism. ‘Contra’ and ‘Master Blaster’ are the first main tracks and are an interesting mix of crunching chords, soaring riff work and electronic synthesiser. These two themes maintain a modern feel despite their inspiration. Whilst there is a retro game sound to their foundation, Rutcho has managed to write some interesting progressions and added some up to date licks. ‘Contra’ has quite an impressive driving riff in its make up where as ‘Blaster’ has a particularly soaring melody that sounds rather galactic. ‘Ninja Gaiden’ is broken up into parts ‘1-3’ and ‘4-6’ and is a combined seventeen minutes of connected but changeable themes. Another famous franchise, ‘Zelda’, receives a double entry whilst there is also one inspired by ‘Double Dragon’ which is more synth orientated than the other entries. The longest and most varied singular composition ‘Castlevania’ closes out this very different release.

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There will be many who will read the name and about the concept and stay well away from this release thinking it’s just not their thing, and they would probably be right. There can be no denying that this is a somewhat specialist release but it is certainly not a bad album. The subject matter may be retro, the synth in many cases giving the music that older feel, but Rutcho has managed to fashion some of the compositions so that they have a more modern twist especially on the guitar. He is certainly no Joe Satriani or Neil Zaza, but the music is well played on both instruments. The production has fresh feel to it and certainly all the techno parts and game melodies shine through without the guitar ever being over bearing. This reviewer has to admit to being a Megadrive and Playstation lover so I’m not able to confirm how these songs compare to the original themes.

If you fancy trying something quite different as far as guitar instrumentals go, this could be worth investigating. This would be especially true if in the past you were an NES player, it may well evoke some memories too. But for general rock and music fans, a cautious approach would be wise, maybe taking some samples from the website before making any purchase. 

Dave Scott

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