March 1, 2024

The term “super group” was invented in the Sixties, long before extreme metal existed as a genre in the first place. However, one of the bands which is an epitome of the said term nowadays is Vltimas. Having in its ranks genre legends like Rune Eriksen (Aura Noir, ex-Mayhem), Flo Mounier (Cryptopsy) and David Vincent (Terrorizer, I Am Morbid, ex-Morbid Angel) got the fans salivation for something truly special when their debut album stormed our speakers back in 2019. Something Wicked Marches In was exceptional and showcased the band’s great potential and their own style and expression in extreme metal.

Photo: Jolanda Siemonsa

Roll on 5 years later and Vltimas’ second album, boldly titled Epic is to be released on March 15th, via Season Of Mist. The title track stomps in mid-tempo, with razor-sharp riffs and the unique, articulate vocals of Vincent. It is like an ominous promise of what’s to follow further in the album and the promise is fulfilled with the fantastic Miserere, where the “marriage” of the monstrous rhythm section and the constantly building in tension guitar melodies has a striking effect on the listener. Vincent is once again exploring the melodic, almost operatic, cleaner style of singing in several of the tracks, thus adding so much more atmosphere and power to the songs. Mephisto Manifesto and Invictus are also highlights, with a crushing sound, very memorable choruses and a dominant soundscape of epic proportions (pun intended). Epic as a whole sounds much more focused and to-the-point than the debut, with more attention paid to the immediate effect on the listener. The songs are shorter and encapsulate the band’s strengths more efficiently, rarely raising the tempo, but always bursting with energy. Exercitus Irae and Scorcher are the only two faster songs, but they are cleverly placed so that the album never sounds dragging. Every new listen of these songs reveals a new layer of heaviness and a little musical magic here and there to be enjoyed.

Nature’s Fangs is another atmospheric, and yes, epic track, which amazes with a constant shifting of the tempo, unexpected twists and turns of the guitars and a short but sweet solo. Spoils Of War ends the album on the same note as the title track opener, adding another masterclass guitar solo on top of it all. Epic is an amazing display of these three guys’ talent and a special praise should go to the compositional genius of Rune Eriksen. What he did in Mayhem years ago is now developed and excelled and when you add to that the artistic and lyrical inspiration of David Vincent, the result speaks for itself. A work of art.

9/10


Check out our recent interview with Rune Eriksen HERE

Vltimas in Facebook

Epic is out on March 15th via Season Of Mist and you can order it from HERE