Millennium Ride

Vermin - Millennium Ride ©1998 No Fashion/House Of Kicks
1. Hungerface
2. Circle Of Time
3. Upright Infinity
4. Demon Soul
5. Bloodlust
6. Everlasting
7. Black
8. Deviltrip
9. Broken
10. Species

How tepid. Vermin, from Sweden, had at one time been a death metal quartet before streamlining their sound and jumping on the death n' roll bandwagon with Millennium Ride. One might thus conjecture that Vermin sound a lot like fellow Swedes and innovators of death n' roll, Entombed. And in fact they do. Like Entombed, they seem to have the "death" part all figured out; unlike Entombed, Vermin have about as much "roll" as a slab of cement.

Basically, death n' roll equates to death metal intensity confined to pop music song structure. With this constraint comes a slowdown in tempo and much less rhythmic variety, but the idea is to write songs that are more immediate and catchy - in other words, songs that are more fun. The verse/chorus structure best facilitates this immediacy, naturally. "Circle of Time" and other tracks have a more Entombed-style pummeling attack, while the groovier "Hungerface" and "Upright Infinity" bear a likeness to stoner rockers Karma to Burn and Monster Magnet. The rest of the album can be summed up in this way. But aside from a few interesting riffs or chugs, Millennium Ride never really takes off. For one, the songwriting just isn't strong or original when compared to, say, Entombed's Wolverine Blues. Worst of all, the rhythm section is just so damn boring that it murders whatever momentum the guitar riffs would have generated. The music plods along at the same mid-tempo pace for over forty minutes, but the lack of any syncopation or time changes makes listening to this album a tedious affair. The vocals aren't worth writing home about, either. They're barked, but the screams lack power and don't really add to the songs. The lyrics… Well, let's just say Vermin are from Sweden, and probably don't know English very well. Vermin sing songs of death, demons, and hatred - very strange, in light of the kitschy images of Marilyn Monroe that adorn the album booklet. Anyway, this album is by no means atrocious, but you probably won't be needing Millennium Ride anytime this millennium.

Review by Jeffrey Shyu

Review date: 04/2000

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