I must admit, this record (and band) snuck up on me like a haymaker sucker-punch! Released on March 29, 2019 (Season of Mist), Something Wicked Marches In is the debut album from (the “Super Group”) Vltimas. Though the sound of the record is very well mixed and produced, the FEEL of the record is very much old school Death Metal; and you already know The Saw loves some old school Death Metal!
So, first, we must talk about the band. Vlitmas is a three-piece, which is hard to believe when you hear it, but understandable when you consider who these three are. David Vincent (ex-Morbid Angel) is known around the world as a premiere vocalist and bass player. His work on the early Morbid Angel records helped set the pace and style of Death Metal. His vocals are a combination of gutteral and lofty clean. He really has a beautiful voice (in either fashion) and his delivery is near perfection in style and material. Vincent is from Texas (and he stereotypically looks the part!), but sings with a European accent. His song writing is always impeccable; dark and eerie, but on time.
Rune “Blasphemer” Eriksen (ex-Mayhem) is the masterful Black Metal guitarist from Portugal who set the standard for how his genre’s music should sound. His style, therefore, is less about power chords and breakdowns and more about fast picked tremolo melodies and harmonies, and you already know I love some harmony! He really gives the band a dark feel, but at the same time, his tone almost makes you feel like your floating through time.
Flo Menier (Cryptopsy) is the legendary Canadian drummer that wrote the book on blast-beats, laying the groundwork for what would become Technical Death Metal. He is easily one of the best Tech-Death drummers in the world. His long history of drumming could be studied in the universities! Is style is very smooth, though extremely fast; with off tempo changes, he really powers the sound of every song forward as he sets the pace.
When you bring these three monumental styles together, you get Something Wicked Marches In. Every single song on this record is a literal masterpiece. The record definitely has an early Morbid Angel time-change stamp to it. Each song floats along on Vincent’s awesome vocal style and his brutal bass playing. All the while, Eriksen’s ever changing riffs of melody and harmony fill out the space; adding a thickness that you rarely find in a three-piece band. And his talent gives you something more to this than revisiting Morbid Angel’s past. Flo drives this devilish machine forward, on every song, with his trademark change-ups – blast-beats and lightning double base, and smooth symbol/tom combinations. Nothing about this album feels forced, and never does it seem like Vlitmas is trying too hard. In fact, quite the opposite is true. The three masters blend their respective styles together in a way that has never been done. In a time in Metal history when Death Metal morphed into Tech-Death, Slam, Deathcore, etc (all of which I love!), Something Wicked Marches In is pure Death Metal, perfectly done so as to be a modern masterpiece.
- Something Wicked Marches In
- Total Destroy
- Truth and Consequence
- Last Ones Alive Win Nothing
- Diabolic Est Sanguis
- Marching On
Favorite Songs: I’m telling you, every song is an individual masterpiece! “Monolilith” and “Last Ones Alive Win Nothing” are at the top for me.
Rating: 10/10!! Best of 2019!
Have you listened to this album? What do you think? What’s your favorite song?