David Vincent has taken a lot of flak over the last couple of years for being in a country music band and also doing a knockoff of his former band MORBID ANGEL. Those criticisms may very well be justified, but I’ll tell you one thing…the guy is still a master death metal vocalist and one listen to this album will prove it.
Vincent has always been one of the forefathers and leaders of the death metal genre. On Something Wicked Marches In, he’s at his best, growling away in a clear and comprehensible fashion and adding theatrical little touches like rolling his “r’s” and stretching syllables that make him an interesting listen. More than anything, he still has a sinister touch to his singing that enhances the experience. And what about the rest of VLTIMAS’ music? It’s not an instant listen, and requires some effort to get into, but I find it much more interesting than the last MORBID ANGEL album. Joining Vincent here are Rune Eriksen (formerly of MAYHEM and AURA NOIR) and inhuman drum android Flo Mournier from CRYPTOPSY. The sound and arrangements here are a bit different than the death metal norm. The guitar sound is dry and much more in the higher range than the ultra-low frequency tones many bands favor. That makes the riffs here more discrete.
And the riffs are interesting and unusual, as on the title track and ‘Monolith’ in particular. This last song kind of rolls along in a fashion that old MORBID ANGEL mastered but the current version of the band seems incapable of. ‘Marching On’ is another such tune. Some of the tracks are fairly straightforward speed blasters like ‘Truth Or Consequences’ or ‘Total Destroy’. But even these “easier” songs have a serpentine, twisting quality to them. As for Mournier’s drumming, I would say a lot of it has that drum machine typewriter type of barrage that I would always assume was totally digital if it was anybody but Flo behind the kit. I’ve seen him work live, and you will find what you’re looking for here.
Not sure how much more we will be hearing from VLTIMAS, but Something Wicked Marches In is an intriguing death metal album that stands out from the current crop of mostly routine releases.
Review By: Dr. Abner Mality
Something Wicked Marches In
Season Of Mist
4.5 / 6