The term Supergroup is often used to describe any band consisting of musicians from other acts and thus disappointing when it ends up lacking household names, or consisting of dream groupings who do not live up to the expectation their legacy suggests.
Fortunately, new entity Vltimas have offered a debut that smashes those notions.
Made up of former Mayhem man Blasphemer, Cryptopsy’s Flo Mounier and David Vincent (formerly of Morbid Angel), Vltimas is a solid who’s who of Extreme Metal royalty. Notably, this is Vincent’s first Metal outing since the polarising Illud Divinum Insanus (Season of Mist), thus potentially leaving him with a point to prove. Fortunately, it doesn’t take long for Something Wicked Marches In (Season of Mist) to ease any lingering doubts there.
What is striking is the immediate chemistry the three members have and how much they bring their own individual sonic identities to the table. David Vincent’s barking vocals are hugely recognisable and the Morbid Angel musical influence is just as apparent, yet with the incredibly dynamic performance of Mounier driving behind; whilst Blasphemer’s icy touches creep in intermittently as well. Something Wicked… doesn’t exactly reinvent the wheel of Death Metal by any stretch but it does, expectedly, showcase numerous Extreme influences.
A brief ominous passage marks the opening bars of the title track and album opener before the collective quickly flexes its muscle with formidable groove and weight. ‘Total Destroy’ throws up some sharp, Black Metal styled riffing coupled with blast-beats, and the proceeding ‘Monolilith’ is middle-paced and crushing in weight, boasting an overall old school Death Metal vibe – essentially this album doesn’t provide an awful lot of new ground, but it delivers hugely in terms of impactful and memorable songs and that balance between fury and fun.
There is always that sense of reservation about supergroups consisting of veterans, and a question of whether they can live up to their glory days, and whilst all three possess untouchable catalogues of great Extreme Metal, Something Wicked… packs plenty of punches and easily holds its own.
An album showcasing three iconic figures firmly doing what they do best, and giving an assured highlight for Death Metal in 2019.
8 / 10