Rating: 5 out of 5
For Fans Of
Fallujah, Rivers Of Nihil, Krallice, The Faceless, Bosse-De-Nage, Muldrotha, Lago, Lantlos, Full Of Hell, Unique Leader Records
Where To Buy
- Unique Leader Records on Bandcamp
- WRVTH / The Wrath Of Vesuvius on Bandcamp
- Indiemerch (currently on sale for $8.40 as of 2020/01/23)
Favorite track: Amber Glow
Released June 16, 2015
This album arrived today on CD, and I have to praise it publicly, immediately. I’ve owned this album in digital form since it was released in 2015, but only just got around to acquiring the CD version. This is one I’ll be hunting down in every possible format.
Once you’ve stopped laughing from the Phoneshop clip, let’s get back to the brilliance that Unique Leader has helped bring to the metal community. This is one of my favorite albums in recent years, though I’m just realizing that 2015 was six years ago. Wow. Fans of Alcest and Les Discrets, who can handle some extra aggression in their music, would do well to give WRVTH some serious listens. This band takes all kinds of sounds and stylings from my favorite genres, and blends them into an elaborate, cohesive hour of music.
WRVTH appears to be carrying the torch of the most promising side of early Fallujah, whose albums like “Dreamless” and “Nomadic EP” were incredibly perfect works of metal history. Fallujah changed the entire metal scene, to a point that intimidated all musicians who dare to claim they can play metal music.
The quickest and dirtiest way to describe WRVTH is progressive extreme metal, a bit like a slowed-down Fallujah with more nods to hardcore and post-rock, and less nods to traditional prog metal. The songs can all be accurately described as “progressive” or “progressive metal”, but forgetting all of that, the songs flow easily throughout the album, with enough variety to allow an enjoyable listen from start to finish. This can be quite rare in extreme metal — have you ever really tried to listen to an entire Deicide or Marduk album? It’s exhausting. Like drinking a beer that’s 8% or 11% alcohol. A whole album of relentless blasting can be like drinking a six-pack of too-strong beer.
Did someone say Fallujah? Never forget:
WRVTH keeps some elements of Fallujah’s greatest moments (in my biased opinion), and combines elements of that tech-death perfection with unique twists of post-rock, progressive jazz-metal, hardcore, and brutal death metal. Some could argue other styles are to be found, like melodic death metal, black metal, etc. Everything is blended together really tastefully, and it’s a rare album that satisfies my hunger for blast beats without wearing me out in 10 or 15 minutes.
The breaks and spacious elements that WRVTH employs are quite welcome when they arrive, keeping things from ever getting too monotonous or relentless. This gives “WRVTH” a higher replay value than albums of the more repetitive and genre-obedient kind.
Long story short, this album is a beautiful landmark of metal music that honors many other forms of music, ranging from downtuned metal to jazzy saxophone leads, entrancing guitar loops, blast beats, and almost everything else I love to hear. Props to WRVTH, Unique Leader, and everyone involved in this undoubtedly classic album.
Recorded, mixed and mastered by Zack Ohren (Suffocation, Fallujah, All Shall Perish et al.) at SharkBite/Castle Ultimate Studios in Oakland, California, the self-titled opus features a guest appearance from Daniel Casares ofBay Area jazz group, Atta Kid, on saxophone and boasts eleven tracks of jolting, transcendental death metal that tread a fine line between peaceful and punishing.