Death Metal • Multi-National
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Active since 2015, Vltimas are a black/death metal band featuring David Vincent (ex-Morbid Angel), Flo Mounier (Cryptopsy) and Rune Blasphemer Eriksen (ex-Mayhem). Their debut album “Something Wicked Marches In” was released in 2019.
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Something Wicked Marches InSomething Wicked Marches In
Season of Mist 2019
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VLTIMAS Something Wicked Marches In album cover 4.40 | 7 ratings
Something Wicked Marches In
Death Metal 2019

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VLTIMAS Something Wicked Marches In

Album · 2019 · Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
"Something Wicked Marches In" is the debut full-length studio album by multi-national death metal act Vltimas The album was released through Season Of Mist in March 2019. Vltimas was formed in 2015 by guitarist Rune "Blasphemer" Eriksen (Mayhem, Aura Noir, Nader Sadek). Eriksen conceived the idea of the band and wrote some material which he send to drummer Flo Mounier (Cryptopsy, Nader Sadek) and asked if Mounier would be interested in joining, which he was. Shortly after Eriksen contacted vocalist David Vincent (Morbid Angel, Genitortures), who was fresh out of his second stint with Morbid Angel, and thus the trio lineup who recorded "Something Wicked Marches In" was completed.

With Vincent on vocals it´s almost impossible not to think of early 90s Morbid Angel, and references to that band and that era of death metal actually aren´t completely off when describing the sound on "Something Wicked Marches In". Eriksen´s black metal past and influences shine through on some of the riffs, but other than that this is old school influenced death metal through and through. It´s technically well played, but not with a focus on technical playing. The complexity of the riffs and rhythms are more a means to an end. Vincent predominantly uses his distinct sounding and intelligible growling vocal style, but there are clean vocals on the album too, which are sung in a deep kind of gothic rock/metal style. It´s nothing which takes away the focus from the death metal brutality and authenticity of the music though, just a little extra dark spice, which works perfect on the album and provides variation and atmosphere to the music.

The material on the 9 track, 38:22 minutes long album are well written, detailed, and intriguing death metal. Multible riff styles are employed, the guitar solos are very well played, and Mounier´s drumming is powerful and creative (the album features many breaks, tempo changes, but also great restraint as Mounier understands when to play more simple, when that is called for). While all tracks feature catchy hooks which return more than one time during a track, the song structures are a bit more adventurous than your regular vers/chorus formula structure, and the creative song writing ideas and intriguing compositional details make "Something Wicked Marches In" an interesting and entertaining listen throughout. Highlights include the opening title track, "Monolilith", and the delightfully fast-paced "Truth And Consequence", but all tracks on the album are more or less of an equally high quality.

"Something Wicked Marches In" features a well sounding production, which suits the material perfectly. There´s the right balance between power, clearness, and an organic touch. So-called supergroups often fail to deliver what the names and previous output by their members often promise, but Vltimas are, based on "Something Wicked Marches In", a shining example of the opposite, where a supergroup actually works and produce a memorable release. "Something Wicked Marches In" reeks class in every way possible and a 4.5 star (90%) rating is fully deserved.

VLTIMAS Something Wicked Marches In

Album · 2019 · Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
We’re already a quarter of the way through 2019 and although there’s plenty of time yet, apart from a small handful, I haven’t been overwhelmed by the quantity of great death metal on offer so far. Enter Vltimas then who have come along at just the right time to give a much needed injection of classic death metal. The members of this band, which hopefully won’t turn out to be a one off side-line, should need little introduction to fans of extreme metal. They are David Vincent - ex-Morbid Angel, Flo Mounier – Cryptopsy and Rune “Blasphemer” Eriksen – ex-Mayhem. Having not listened to a lot of Mayhem, or his other bands for that matter, it is Eriksen that is the unknown quantity here from my point of view but the other two have both featured on some of the most essential death metal albums ever released.

Whilst so called supergroups can often add up to less than the individuals taking part that is certainly not the case here. Something Wicked Marches In is an absolute blast from start to finish without a weak track on offer. The playing is phenomenal. Of course Flo Mounier’s credentials as one of the greatest death metal drummers is not in doubt and he turns in an incredible performance displaying his trademark speed and dexterity. David Vincent is one of the best and most recognisable growlers in the business, his work with Morbid Angel made him a legend but why’s he not also playing bass here? All guitar duties are handled by Rune Eriksen and it is he, no doubt partly through my lack of past experience that provides the biggest surprise and turns in a phenomenal performance.

The nine songs don’t really sound like any of the bands that they’re generally associated with though Vincent sounds like you’d expect so you can’t help thinking Morbid Angel. Not surprisingly Eriksen brings a blackened touch to his riffs with plenty of tremolo picking and a healthy dose of dissonance injected too. It’s really his guitar work that defines the songs as his riffs are never less than inventive and captivating. When he gets into serious tremelo picking he impresses with a blur of notes but then will shift into something simpler and heavier in a flash and then into atmospheric arpeggios. It’s this variety that really makes the album. Of course Mounier’s blur of blast beats, breakneck speed fills and double kick drums backs it all up to perfection so Eriksen can’t take all the credit. Vincent’s vocals too are also integral to the success of the album as his clear growl attests. Picking favourites is not easy as with all great albums overall consistency is essential and present here but if pushed I’d go for Last Ones Alive Wins Nothing, Everlasting and Praevalidus as pick of the bunch, between them perfectly encapsulating the scope of this great band.

I really hope this doesn’t turn out to be a one off project as this band is too good to leave us with only one album. As I said earlier I’m not familiar with most of Eriksen’s work so can’t comment but as far as Vincent and Mounier go, neither have been involved in anything as good as this for some time despite the last couple of Crpytopsy EP’s being rated very highly by me.

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