Man, the UK death metal scene is crazy exciting right now with 2021 being a year of back-to-back fantastic releases from our fair old isle, with bands like Coffin Mulch, Celestial Sanctuary, Slimelord, Mortuary Spawn, Sewer Fiend, and QRIXKUOR all releasing killer records and demo’s this year. I should also mention Vacuous whose record came in right at the tail end of last year and is also a must!
Today I get the honour of reviewing yet another name to add to the growing fetid pile of UK based death metal bands, it’s Vaticinal Rites and their debut Self-Titled EP released Friday 12th November via Dry Cough Records in the UK and Redefining Darkness/Caligari Records in the USA. Can I just take a moment also to praise Dry Cough for being one of the best extreme labels within the UK producing consistently excellent new music that I’ve been gladly troughing at like the tubby little death metal fan that I am… keep ‘em coming Andy!
It truly is the NWOBDM (the New Wave of British Death Metal), and this group of reprobates formed in 2020 in the midst of a world in crisis trying to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic and are dead set on draining you of every ounce of your soul. They used this time, and the social upheaval, to birth a four-track EP of old school-tinged death metal that’s cloaked in fear, loss and isolation, it’s technically excellent and sternum crushingly heavy. Guitarist Andreas shared that he’d been blasting a lot of Dead Congregation at the time which definitely comes through and is no bad thing at-all.
a four-track EP of old school-tinged death metal that’s cloaked in fear, loss and isolation…
If you dare bare the weight of this mammoth sound, you’re going to be treated to a hate filled EP that has serious venom. The vocals are mid-level growls that are buried in the mire but are an intense performance, especially alongside the death metal riffage that has obvious hardcore influences bleeding through, but also huge nods to the Bay Area thrash scene. There are point’s when the guitar tone sounds like a bastardized mix of Seasons… era Slayer and Possessed’s Seven Churches, it’s full of twisted hooks and a crushing stomp that’s just delightful! This wouldn’t be the ticket though without the monstrous and breakneck performance from behind the kit, if you’re not headbanging along then you’re doing it wrong!
Sometimes it’s hard to sum up on an EP, which only runs a mere twelve minutes as you’re not getting the whole picture from the artist, this will hopefully (fingers, toes, limbs and synapses crossed) be more clear on a full length in the future, but you certainly get a glimpse of something exciting and terrifying here from Vaticinal Rites. 100% something to look out for, 100% an EP to pick up and delve your likely unprepared brain into.
Scribed by: Matt Alexander