Vltimas - Something Wicked Marches In
Season Of Mist
Death Metal
9 songs (38:17)
Release year: 2019
Official Bandcamp, Season Of Mist
Reviewed by Goat

Supergroups aren't always as good as the separate elements may promise them to be, yet a death metal trio comprised of former Morbid Angel frontman David Vincent, Aura Noir and former Mayhem guitarist Rune 'Blasphemer' Eriksen and Cryptopsy drummer Flo Mounier is too good to miss and although Vltimas doesn't push the envelope much, it does show that if you throw enough talent into the mix it's hard to screw the results up. Something Wicked Marches In is a solid album, groovy and intense, although the performances aren't quite as equally excellent. Sure, all perform well and together the trio form a hell of a tight band, but in terms of songwriting and the outstanding elements, the vocals and guitars dominate above a skilful but ultimately less impactful drum performance from Flo. Blame it on the production, if you must; it can be hard to hear the instruments when Vincent's vocals are as upfront as this, but even so Blasphemer's guitars are still one of the most interesting musical elements here, adding a touch of post-Mayhemic blackened glory to the death metal groove, especially on Everlasting.

That's something that could have been explored further, really; although the songs are generally good, the album can feel a little samey even at just under forty minutes in length. Tracks are quite uniform in style, fast but groovy death metal pounders driven by Vincent's distinct snarl, sometimes seeming a little brief and undercooked when a few more five minute plus tracks would have allowed the style to develop further. There are clear similarities to Morbid Angel's ill-conceived Illud Divinum Insanus album, albeit stripped of industrial experiments and similar cringiness in favour of straightforward death metal impact, which is more than effective. Calling a track Total Destroy is bad enough, but at least Vltimas can fashion it into a pounding death metal anthem without industrial nonsense.

Vincent is always fun here, clearly having a blast as he rolls his r's and spits out otherwise ridiculous lyrics with glee, more than selling the otherwise silly Monolilith and making it a God of Emptiness-esque highlight. The opening title track kicks in with attitude and plenty of charisma, guitar-driven and hungry, echoed with the following Praevalidus which mixes in faster and slower sections well. Diabolus Est Sanguis and Truth and Consequence reach a thrashy intensity that's over far too quickly, hints of greatness grasped at but not always reached, while longer tracks like Marching On are without a doubt the best, allowing these talented musicians to whip up an atmospheric yet catchy storm. No track is really a letdown, but as a whole the album needs something more, a sense of purpose that drives the whole rather than petering out abruptly. A little more thought and care (and perhaps a second album?) and this would have been a terrific side-project, yet you do come away from Something Wicked Marches In feeling teased but not wholly satisfied. Hopefully there is a second album, and the trio are a little more adventurous next time around.

Killing Songs :
Something Wicked Marches In, Monolilith, Last Ones Alive Win Nothing, Diabolus Est Sanguis
Goat quoted 70 / 100
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