VERMITHRAX - VOLUME 1 (Independent)


                          (Review by Patrick De Sloover)

Vermithrax is a 400 year old androgynous dragon that has threatened Urland for years. Translated from Latin, its name means ‘The Wyrm of Thrace that makes Things Worse’.

Adapted to present times it is a vicious serpent-like winged beast of biting riffs, sourcing vocals and screaming leads that will soon be unleashed to thrash your village. What a message, and I, being used to promo talk that is mostly far beyond, I pressed play on my disc player. After some clocks that chime, we get a guitar riff that sounds really heavy and dangerous. Bass is pumping a high dose of energy in the song and suddenly all hell breaks loose! A guitar solo adds a little more atmosphere and my neck starts already to bang. This seems to be a hell of a monster coming my way! Suddenly, everything becomes quiet and a little guitar in the background introduces us to the vocalist (Chris Roy) of this band.

Vermithrax has a unique vocalist who’s bringing his metal phrases just to the limit. Some moments, you hear that Chris is crying out loud, but he remains in between the limits of extraordinary. The musicians of this band are capable from start till finish, as this is one of the best newcomers in months. This band just breathes metal, and referring to a dragon, it has something to say!  This is top class US Metal like in the good old days. Those that miss the Dark Angel and Metal Church highlights know what to expect. This is a perfect blend of both bands added with nowadays arrangements but with the typical vibe of the 80’s! 

While enjoying the first track ‘Architect Of Fear’ you will hear that this band reached their goal, as they wanted to revive a past love for the more heavier, driving metal that they grew up on. In the middle of the first track, there is another threatening break, followed by accelerating guitar riffing. Just awesome!! At the end of this track we hear some applause mixed in, as it was played in front of an audience followed by the second track ‘’Submersus’. This one has a blistering start as well. Guitar player Scott Haggerty switches into full metal gear, and the vocals of Chris seem to be adapted a bit. Again we have a break in the middle of the song with a continuation in totally diverse melody lines. But, the best is yet to come when ‘The Summoning’ arrives. Again brilliant guitar riffing and that special ‘must have’ vocals at the beginning of the track. You will hear the strings scream for mercy, you will notice that the bass of Tom Donaldson is deadly killing and JR Jameson is handling the spawning drums. What a great melody line, what an introduction!

This band made my day, week, month…. year? It’s really a pity that this CD contains only three songs, but I’m hoping for more in the near future. Vermithrax is a band to remember and explore, as they bring the typical US Metal in a new daylight, and it might be just an appetizer for great times!  Reviewing is easy, as I can only praise them from the bottom of my heart, but rating on a scale of 100 is difficult with only 3 tracks. If I’m honest, and only focus on these songs, they get easily 90/100, but only a full length album will confirm if that’s the right decision.  

My rating: 90 /100 (without prejudice)