Something Wicked Marches In

A few years ago Vltimas formed and many did not feel this “supergroup” would ever record an album.  The band consists of David Vincent of Morbid Angel fame on vocals, Flo Mounier from Cryptopsy blasting the crap out of the drums and Rune Eriksen, of Mayhem fame on guitars.  Well Something Wicked Marches In is the debut from Vltimas after all 3 members decided to hang out with Vincent in Texas, jamming for several weeks and writing and this debut……oh my fu**ing god.

I will start off the jump with this is one of the finest debut albums I have heard in the last decade, by far.  I’m a huge (first 4) Morbid Angel fan and Vincent has always had a great set of pipes and I love his rock-abilly/country singing as well.  Was not sure how his voice would be on this recording, however he sounds as awesome as ever.  Powerful and great enunciation.  Flo pounds the crap out of the drums and while you won’t hear any gravity blasts, ala Cryptopsy, it’s only because this style of music does not call for it.  While I was never a fan of Mayhem, Rune has been in lots of bands and I respect his guitar work.  The culmination of all these dudes has resulted in a blackened death metal album, that while more parts death, then black, is tremendous.

After a slow build-up the title track kicks into gear at the 20 second mark and while it then slows down you get Vincent doing some signature bellows as the tune then shifts into a slower part and then the blasting comes through and the guitar melodies are beautiful and mesmerizing and then Vincent growl whispers the title track.  The 3.22 part then kicks right back into that old school 90’s classic death/thrash beat with Vincent growling the title again and Flo’s double bass collapsing chest cavities worldwide-more on that later on.  “Praevalidus” is up next and really the Holy Shit moment begins immediately with monstrous blasting, and amazing guitar riffs that are so catchy, seriously after listening to this album the first time I could hum multiple songs in my head over and over.  Anyway the riffing over the blasting is outstanding and Vincent’s diction at the 2.20 section is stellar.  You’ve heard and seen the lyric video for “Total Destroy”.  The beginning is monstrous with the blast beat and vicious razor guitar tone with the blackened death tone, getting under your skin, to lift it up and show all the maggots underneath.  Excellent chorus and one of the best songs for 2019.  When I hear this song I just want to lift trees from the ground and use them as baseball bats.  I want to pick up trucks and throw them in the air and then hit them across the atmosphere with my tree sized bat.  So right after such an intense track Vltimas slows things down with the ultra-heavy “Monolith”.  A perfect name for this track.  Dense, heavy, melodic, yet still ferocious, even if it’s slower.  Then the blasting at the 1.36 mark with awesome, discernible and powerful vocals before that catchy riff comes back.  I mentioned earlier about the chest-collapsing double bass and I want to get back to that.  “Everlasting” at the 1.23 part-seriously those drums were reverberating my chest inside out and body-slammed me all over the place.  Monstrous.

Some of the overall highlights is how the band is unafraid of returning to certain riffs and staying with that riff over and over, without it ever becoming stale.  This is a testament to individuals who have been playing extreme metal for years and understanding you do not have to have a bajillion riffs in order to be brutal.  Yes there are lots of riffs spread out across Something Wicked Marches In but they are beyond catchy and well crafted.  There are moments across the album that even sounded a little Blessed are the Sick, in some of the riffing and drum patterns-a very cool homage.  Vocal patterns, choruses and the oohs and ahhhs/growl chanting on “Diabolus Est Sanguis” is killer.  The album is produced perfectly and the mix captures every sound, nuance and punches you in the face with the power.

The digipack has a multi-paneled booklet with fold out poster of the the entire full art of the album cover.  Vltimas’ debut Something Wicked Marches In has knocked me on my ass!  This is a strong contender for album of the year and each time I listen to the album I discover some new sounds I had not heard earlier.  This album crushes beyond belief.  Buy or Die!


[Visit the band's website]
Written by Frank Rini
June 3rd, 2019


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