Vital Remains

Sunday, May 9, at Peabody's.

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Mean Girls
Sometimes critics screw up. Our initial assessment of Vital Remains' 2003 album Dechristianize called it "solid death metal" and pretty much left it at that. In the months that followed, though, the disc wormed its way into our heads, wouldn't leave, and wound up in our top 10 for the year. Dechristianize is a grower; its savage guitar riffs, lightning-speed drumming, and rumbling bass -- not to mention Glen Benton's vocals, much more impressive than on Deicide's wack-ass new album -- only get more potent with repeated listens.

This tour is bound to be interesting. In the studio, Vital Remains is more of a project than a band. David Suzuki played almost everything (rhythm guitar, bass, and drums) on Dechristianize, leaving only lead guitar to partner Tony Lazaro. Live, though, it's another matter. The founding pair has recruited bassist Tim Yeung and drummer Derek Boyer, and yes, Benton will be adding his sulfurous roar to the mix. That's a good thing, too -- ol' Upside-Down-Cross Face might be an idiot, but he puts on a solid show.

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