Something Wicked Marches In

Season Of Mist
rating icon 8 / 10

Track listing:

01. Something Wicked Marches In
02. Praevalidus
03. Total Destroy!
04. Monolilith
05. Truth And Consequence
06. Last Ones Alive Win Nothing
07. Everlasting
08. Diabolus Est Sanguis
09. Marching On

VLTIMAS is a veritable who's who in extreme metal music. Death metal drum god Flo Mounier, the sole original member of the renowned Canadian brutal technical death metal outfit CRYPTOPSY, steadies the beat, while guitars are handled by Rune"Blasphemer" Eriksen who has spent decades with blackened thrashers AURA NOIR, in addition to his involvement with other bands like Portugal's gothic doom metal act AVA INFERI. Blasphemer is of course best known for his extensive tenure with the legendary Norwegian black metal band MAYHEM, the band whose backstory of murder, suicide and church arson is gracing the big screen in the form of "Lords Of Chaos" , the film adaptation that's equally as divisive as the book upon which it was based. Blasphemer was the immediate replacement of MAYHEM's core and founding member Euronymous, who was murdered by BURZUM's Varg Vikernes, who had performed on MAYHEM's classic "De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas".

Amid the aforementioned impressive and notorious cast of characters is the focal point: frontman David Vincent. The bassist/vocalist is arguably the gold standard of death metal frontmen. His work during MORBID ANGEL's early era is amongst some of the most revered in the sub-genre's history. Following his second stint with MORBID ANGEL, which concluded following 2011's universally shunned "Illud Divinum Insanus" , Vincent surprised everyone by venturing into the realm of outlaw country. More recently, the charismatic ringleader has returned home, so to speak, with his I AM MORBID project, an act that primarily focuses on classic, early MORBID ANGEL material. For better or worse—and for better and worse—I AM MORBID is essentially a glorified MORBID ANGEL cover band, but a very good and entertaining one at that. The stage has been properly set, then, for his involvement with the supergroup VLTIMAS. Expectations are high, but, as the case often is with supergroups, the ensemble doesn't quite reach the high-water marks left by the bands from which the individual members are primarily known.

Vincent was very much perceived as the archetypal death metal frontman up until the mid-nineties, capped off recording-wise with MORBID ANGEL's "Domination" in 1995. Diehards' jaws dropped when he left the band the following year to join the industrial band GENITORTURERS. Even his appearance at the time took on an androgynous quality that stood in stark contrast to the macho image of his MORBID ANGEL days. The drastic stylistic and career shakeup can, in many ways, be compared to the manner in which metal god Rob Halford launched his own industrial project TWO. Halford eventually "returned home," so to speak, when he rejoined JUDAS PRIEST, and he did so with renewed vigor. Vincent's return to death metal with I AM MORBID, similarly, seems to have reinvigorated the vocalist. That energy has parlayed forth into VLTIMAS.

"Something Wicked Marches In" is decidedly modern and slick in terms of production values. It's a brutal, intense and inarguably authentic death metal album, yet one that can offer appeal to fans of BEHEMOTH, or even SLIPKNOT or LAMB OF GOD. The members' characteristic capabilities, whether it's Blasphemer's haunting guitar work or Flo's inhuman blast attack, are likably distinct and salient on their own, as well as cohesive and suitable as they converge into one. "Something Wicked Marches In" won't shake the underground to its core like "Altars of Madness" did, but it sure as hell packs a punch and is likely to knock listeners asses to the ground with outlandish brute force.

Author: Jay H. Gorania
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