Vermithrax – Vol. 1 Sampler (14 February 2013)
Hey! Remember back when I used to write about music? That was fun, I think I’m going to try it again.
So the Pittsburgh-based old-school thrash & NWOBHM-influenced band Vermithrax has some new material available for downloading and inserting into your ears. They announced this fact a couple weeks ago, but I was right in the middle of a million different things at that moment, so I grabbed myself a copy and planned to go back to it later.
Well, “later” ended up being just a few days ago, and now I’m kicking myself for not jumping on this sooner. If you’re already familiar with Vermithrax — perhaps from their appearance on the Innervenus free compilation Iron Atrocity Vol.2 (more info here) — then surely you understand.
If you haven’t heard that compilation yet, go download the damn thing already!! But in the meantime, here’s the Vermithrax song, “The Final Feast”:
Anyway, the band is apparently working their way up to a full-length album, but for now they’ve got three tracks available for your listening pleasure.
I’m probably showing my age here, but the first metal bands whose albums I really listened to and/or bought were Overkill, Heathen, and Anthrax (in that order), and ever since then I’ve been pretty passionate about anything heavy and thrashy with powerful, soaring vocals, and interesting twists in the song structure. So really, it’s no surprise that the three songs in Vermithrax‘s Volume 1 immediately grabbed my attention and wouldn’t let go until long after the 19+ minute playing time was over.
The intro to the first song, “Architect of Fear,” is so melodic and almost symphonic that it brought to mind an Empire-era Queensrÿche. So much, in fact, that I felt momentarily disoriented when singer Chris Roy‘s vocals entered rather than Geoff Tate. But then I remembered how terrible everything has been that Tate was involved with over the past ten or fifteen years, and found myself really digging this song.
Following that, “Submersus” and “The Summoning” delve into heavier territory, with more of a Slayer or Testament feel. Both of these will really get your head moving and fist pumping. The third song, in particular, features some really excellent guitar work — perfect for practicing your air-guitar skills.
This three-song sampler was originally released in the style of the old-school cassette demos: a single track that you have to listen to the whole way through if you want to hear all three songs. (The obvious difference being, you don’t have to rewind the MP3 when you get to the end!) Since then, though, the band has also made each song available to download individually. You can grab it in either format from ReverbNation (here), or the single-track medley is available through Bandcamp: