Review 2123 : Vltimas – Epic – English

Logo Vltimas

It’s time for Vltimas to step up a gear.

Following the success of their debut album in 2019 and numerous live performances, the band formed by David Vincent (vocals, Terrorizer, I Am Morbid, ex-Morbid Angel), Rune « Blasphemer » Eriksen (guitar, Ruïm, Aura Noir, ex-Mayhem… ) and Flo Mounier (drums, Arise from Worms, Cryptopsy…), accompanied by Ype TVS (bass, ex-Dodecahedron) and João Duarte (guitar, Corpus Christii, live for Enthroned, Lvcifyre…) announce the release of their second album, Epic, on Season of Mist in 2024.

The adventure begins with Volens Discordant, a dissonant-sounding introduction that carries us through to EPIC, the title track, which features catchy riffing and David Vincent‘s distinctive voice. The combination of Black Metal’s coldness Metal and Death Metal’s strength is perfectly represented on this track with its heady tones, which doesn’t hesitate to accelerate to create more raw passages always covered with ominous melodies, as on Miserere where the rhythmic also draws on the energy of Thrash Metal while giving its leads great freedom. The composition finds its balance between motivating aggression and interesting vocal diversity, before giving way to Exercitus Irae, which also charges with lively unifying patterns, elements that are also found in vocals. I can already imagine entire pits chanting « Marching, marching » before headbanging along with the musicians, then a much more ethereal touch announces itself on Mephisto Manifesto, offering a slight shift from the more virulent parts, but one that nevertheless fits with the band’s diversified approach, which they don’t hesitate to exploit as much in their riffs with their sometimes Blues influences as in their vibrant vocals. Scorcher returns to darker and more disquieting tones, then to their wild roots tinged with cutting harmonics, before the massive Invictus returns to trample us with its devastating double kick, over which the musicians develop sharp riffs at full speed. We also have a few more airy moments, but the majority of the composition remains focused on violence before a very soothing final that gives way to Nature’s Fangs and its ferocious riffs, contrasting once again with some of the vocalist’s more intense appearances. The heavy-oriented solo confirms my feeling of musical experimentation, but the album already presents Spoils Of War, its latest composition, which closes with an effective rhythm punctuated by typical elements of the band, such as the occasional low-pitched chorus or more elaborate harmonics.

Vltimas has definitely found its own touch with this album. Each track on Epic has its own personality, influenced of course by the Black/Death Metal basis, but also by elements described as « organic », confirming the band’s musical openness.


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