VLTIMAS — Epic (review)

VLTIMAS — Epic album cover Album · 2024 · Death Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
UMUR
"Epic" is the second full-length studio album by multi-national death metal act Vltimas. The album was released through Season of Mist in March 2024. It´s the successor to "Something Wicked Marches In" from March 2019, so it´s been almost to the day five years since the release of the predecessor. Vltimas was formed in 2015 by three veterans of the death/black metal scene in lead vocalist David Vincent (Morbid Angel, Terrorizer), drummer Flo Mounier (Cryptopsy), and guitarist Rune "Blasphemer" Eriksen (Mayhem, Aura Noir). On this album they´ve added bassist Ype TVS to the ranks.

Stylistically the material on "Epic" continues the blackened death metal style of "Something Wicked Marches In", but with a few twists and development of sound. Vincent is as distinct sounding and intelligible as ever with his growling vocals, but adds a few more layers to his vocal arsenal on "Epic". His semi-operatic vocals are utilized more often here (take a listen to the title track or "Mephisto Manifesto" for proof of that) and his growling vocals are varied with some aggressive raw shouting vocals too, so although Vincent already was one of the most unique sounding and versatile death metal vocalists before "Epic" was recorded, he has pushed the boundaries even further here. It may scare away a few hardcore death metal fans, but to those who crave diversity this is a welcome addition to the band´s sound.

Eriksen is the main composer of the material on "Epic" as was also the case on "Something Wicked Marches In" and he has again created a varied and intriguing blackened death metal sound. Everything from chaotic sounding blackened death metal, to mid-paced heavy epic death metal tracks, to melodic inclined lead guitar moments, and also a good understanding of rhythm dynamics. Flo Mounier of course doesn´t need an introduction and we all know that the man can play anything, but his performance here is relatively restrained, which serves the purpose of the drumming fitting the compositions. In other words he is a team player here, and saves his most technical drumming wizardry for Cryptopsy.

"Epic" features a powerful, clear, and detailed sound production, which suits the sophistication of the material well. This type of death metal would not have benefitted from a murky and gritty sounding production job. So upon conclusion "Epic" is a death metal release for those who enjoy their death metal with a touch of sophistication and variation, and who aren´t afraid to hear a death metal vocalist experiment with his voice and vocal style. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.
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UMUR wrote:
41 days ago
I like the debut better, but I respect that Vltimas try new things on this one.
Nightfly wrote:
42 days ago
I've seen one or 2 negative reviews of this but I think it's an excellent follow up. It's close but I think the debut might just have the edge on this one though.

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