While Vomit Fist is ly considered a Grindcore band, there’s very few straight forward cuts of that genre present in this EP. In fact, this is a highly varied release. The title track “Forgive But Avenge” is an interesting combination of Mathcore technicality and furious speed just after the early Speed Metal introduction. From here the nasal shouting reminiscent of Macabre begins to slow things to a halt with some simpler sludgy riffs that bridges the gap into “Under the Rind”, which sticks to more of a typical Grindcore meets Death Metal approach akin to Napalm Death. Thankfully this is a reference that can be made scarcely on this release, as there’s a lot more at work musically, such as Punk heavy performances like “Eat the Hand That Feeds You”. This one shares that attitude through infectious riffs that seem to gallop along at a faster pace that is as fun as it is aggressive.
And then there’s “A Public Execution”. Much like the start of the title-track, this one has more of a Speed Metal foundation all around with some additional complexities later on, specifically when the pace slows down and takes on more of a Progressive Death Metal approach the band moves in and out of seamlessly. “In Your Skin / Born” falls directly into the Progressive Metal field thanks to the structuring and how the vocals work with it, though about half way in there is some Post-Hardcore or Post-Metalcore elements thrown in (it really is hard to tell exactly) with singing that seems to be handled as a duet towards the end. This all comes off like a brief conceptual piece, moving to “The Sacred Slut”, a logical progression. Lyrics that seem to stem from anger and betrayal are met with a crushing rhythmic pattern in the instruments many could easily connect with, moving into another highly technical piece with “Broken”, though the last half carries a bit of a Southern environment to the heavy groove passages.
The only major complaint to be had really is the placement of “Enter My Guts”. While it kicks off more on the Mathcore side of things with a slowing technicality, the shift to a trudging pace that sounds like audibly walking through a swamp in the middle of Summer acts as a far more appropriate introduction to this EP than its own title track does. Honestly, if the band doesn’t use this song at the start of their live set, they should. With how fluidly this moves into “Frogmen”, you can’t help but wonder if someone screwed up figuring out what tracks are supposed to go where, perhaps spilling a drink on their notes or something. This one keeps with the aforementioned atmosphere, including the lyrical theme, throwing some more technicality into the mix as far as timing goes.
Forgive But Avenge is a lot more than your typical Grindcore offering like many seem to label this outfit as. Elements of Mathcore, Hardcore, Punk, Death Metal, as well as styles that can easily fit a “post-” or Progressive preface of some kind, Vomit Fist express their musical influences and talents quite well through this nearly twenty-minute EP. Admittedly, sometimes it works, like with the extensive and moody piece “Bloodfisher” while other times it doesn’t lead to anything more than just a good performance that won’t really stick with you but isn’t enough to keep you from hitting the skip button, which easily sums up “Ass Hammer”. If your interest in Vomit Fist is simply for the family ties two of its members share, then you are enjoying this band for all the wrong reasons. Forgive But Avenge is a multi-layered piece that extends beyond the point of simple grinding to incorporate enough variety in a fluid manner that can easily unite many an opposing taste in just one recording.