Metal Storm logo
Vulgaris - Seat Of The Fire review




Bandcamp music player
Reviewer:
N/A

25 users:
7.36
Band: Vulgaris
Album: Seat Of The Fire
Style: Black metal, Sludge metal, Thrash metal
Release date: May 2024


01. Lyomenos
02. Black Gold Baptism
03. Swarm
04. Pyrphoros
05. Asphyxiation
06. Prometheus Rise
07. Pyrkaeus
08. Siege
09. Seat Of The Fire

Producer: So, what style of metal do you guys play? Black, death, sludge, thrash, heavy, post-?
Vulgaris: Yes.

Although multiple Metal Storm reviewers praised the band's debut, Asundre, we all agreed that it came with certain limitations. Vulgaris now present Seat Of The Fire, an album three years in the making, and they declare that it “represents a significant musical advancement”. It comes with an aptly dark theme; Prometheus turns into an Antichrist-like figure set to take revenge from humankind for the devastatingly wrong use of his gift, the fire. Let's hope they don't get sued by Rotting Christ's Sakis Tolis, who, as we all know, has exclusive dibs on the word ‘fire’ and everything fire-related in extreme metal.

Following the short intro, “Lyomenos”, Vulgaris kick the album off with a slow-burning, post-metallic track, titled “Black Gold Baptism”. The song has an engaging build-up that leads to an explosive blackened frenzy that is both aggressive and technical. The cherry on the top is a speed-rocking solo blazing over some d-beat drumming, before things almost come to a halt with a doom/sludge breakdown, finishing off the melting of the listener's face. Vulgaris showcase many of their strengths on “Black Gold Baptism”; their fondness of post-metal, the black metal onslaught, the sludgy demolition, and, most importantly, the ability to mix various sounds and genres in a seamless and fascinating way. Equally adventurous and progressive in their scope are the songs “Prometheus Rise”, with its attention-catching middle ‘super-solo-over-inventive-drums’ part, and the title track, which has a djenty opening, goes on to mix death doom with groovy meloblack, and then, just like “Black Gold Baptism”, it goes into d-beat mode and ends in sludgy doom.

I don't want to give too much away and ruin the experience, but I cannot fail to mention that one thing that is truly satisfying is the great sense of groove that Vulgaris can have, which is particularly pleasing on the thrashy riffs of the singles “Swarm” and “Siege”. That said, one of my favourite songs on here has no groove whatsoever; “Asphyxiation” is a suffocating blend of claustrophobic doom and vicious black metal instead, while its prelude, “Pyrphoros”, does an amazing job to instil an anxiety-provoking atmosphere for what is to come.

Speaking of preludes, “Pyrkaeus” is also fantastic in how it sets up “Siege”; the knock on the door had me almost shit my pants when I first heard it wearing my headphones, it has a genius false ending, and it cleverly leads to the aforementioned opening riff of “Siege”, which is the best soundtrack for you to smash things to obliteration, particularly when the breakdown comes.

Performance-wise, the shrieks of Matt Cooper and the growls of Jonathan Michael reveal more layers and various facets to the music, while Jess O’Toole’s lead guitar adds a melodic component, either through tasty licks or in the form of classic heavy metal solos, on an -otherwise- very dark album. The bass is meaty and audible in the mix, and the drums are constantly driving the songs, because they are not just staying in the pocket, but they also explore other routes and territories. My main gripe with the debut was the production, and especially the sound of the drums; here, everything sounds distinctively better, including the drums, but I would still prefer a Kurt Ballou-like treatment, because the way George Mitchell plays really deserves it.

As much as I enjoyed the band’s debut, Seat Of The Fire is playing in a different league. Vulgaris continue to demonstrate that they can throw in everything but the kitchen sink and still make it work, but they have also sat down and crafted some admirably fleshed out tracks. The band has such a vast array of influences and at the same time such an individual sound, that it's highly recommended for every extreme metal fan.

If you like acts like (recent) Wake, Necrophobic, Sylosis, Gojira, Regarde Les Hommes Tomber, and Inter Arma, make sure you get a seat close to the Seat Of The Fire.

“Rise, Prometheus, bringer of fire
To reclaim the gift we defiled”





Written on 16.05.2024 by Only way to feel the noise is when it's good and loud!


Comments

Comments: 12   Visited by: 117 users
16.05.2024 - 21:06
musclassia
Staff
Thank you very much Nik for such a well-written, thoughtful and in-depth review. I wrote the promo blurb including the bit about this “representing a significant musical advancement”, and I completely stand by it; even when it was released, I thought Asundre was a decent album with a couple of genuinely good songs, but also was something that already clearly had a lot of room for growth. I (and so is everyone else in the band) am proud of this album, I think it's a genuinely good record, and you've covered a lot of the things I like about it here. Very cool to see the in-depth look into Black Gold Baptism as well, which I do think is possibly the most interesting track we've done thus far in terms of journey and variety. I hope everyone else enjoys the record as much as you have!
Loading...
17.05.2024 - 12:46
Nejde
Moderator
Only Nik who got a promo? Feels a bit unfair to the rest of us staff
Loading...
17.05.2024 - 13:16
musclassia
Staff
Written by Nejde on 17.05.2024 at 12:46

Only Nik who got a promo? Feels a bit unfair to the rest of us staff



yeah sorry about that, lost track of doing that among all the other prep/promo stuff we've had to do before release - at least it's not long until release now!
Loading...
19.05.2024 - 22:43
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
I miss same writing as about debut, will listen it few days after it will be out.
----
I stand whit Ukraine and Israel. They have right to defend own citizens.

Stormtroopers of Death - "Speak English or Die"

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
Loading...
19.05.2024 - 22:56
Nejde
Moderator
Written by musclassia on 17.05.2024 at 13:16



yeah sorry about that, lost track of doing that among all the other prep/promo stuff we've had to do before release - at least it's not long until release now!

Only five days left, I don't mind waiting a little longer. In Sweden we have a saying that goes: "If you're waiting for something good, you can never wait too long". Well, you actually can, but you get the gist of it Looking forward to hearing the whole album even if I think that the bassist seems a little shady
Loading...
20.05.2024 - 19:00
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Staff
Written by Nejde on 19.05.2024 at 22:56

even if I think that the bassist seems a little shady

"A LITTLE"??
----
Do you think if the heart keeps on shrinking
One day there will be no heart at all?
Loading...
20.05.2024 - 23:28
nikarg
Staff
Bully the bass player. Typical.
Loading...
21.05.2024 - 01:20
Nejde
Moderator
Written by nikarg on 20.05.2024 at 23:28

Bully the bass player. Typical.

I actually found this clip of the band before a couple of line-up and style changes. I think the original bass player is much cooler than the one they got now
Loading...
21.05.2024 - 08:29
musclassia
Staff
Written by Nejde on 21.05.2024 at 01:20


I actually found this clip of the band before a couple of line-up and style changes.

Definitely a different band using the same name
Loading...
21.05.2024 - 09:45
Nejde
Moderator
Written by musclassia on 21.05.2024 at 08:29

Definitely a different band using the same name

I don't know, it's hard to tell these days when bands change members and styles as often as people change underwear Otherwise we need Vulgaris doing a cover of Vulgaris
Loading...
26.05.2024 - 14:48
Auntie Sahar
Drone Empress
Awesome review. I was holding off on this for a bit because I could tell it's quite expansive and has a lot going on sound - wise, so I wanted to save it for when I had the time to give it the proper attention it deserves. But I took a dive on it last night, and indeed.... what a ride! "Asphyxiation" is probably my favorite here. Dat drum groove

By the way, this is the third album you've gotten me on this year that's been an absolute slam dunk in my book, after Ponte De Diavolo and that Dionysiaque. Thanks for the hot recs, Nik, keep em coming!
----
I am the Magician and the Exorcist. I am the axle of the wheel, and the cube in the circle. “Come unto me” is a foolish word: for it is I that go.

~ II. VII
Loading...
07.06.2024 - 20:15
Rating: 8
ScreamingSteelUS
Editor-in-Chief
Admin
I was going to wait until Bandcamp Friday (which I assumed was today) to listen to this, but then I realized that I don’t have to wait that long to listen to it, just to buy it, and then I realized that the next Bandcamp Friday isn’t even until September, so I had no reason to wait, but then I suddenly became extremely busy and wound up having to wait until today anyway. This is not interesting, it's just my excuse to Matt.

As has been said plenty of times already, this is a really big improvement over Asundre in terms of production (crisp and distinct but still with a good layer of filth, and the drums sound great). Somebody mentioned Dvne influence (it might have been Nik in the interview) and honestly I do hear it. Vulgaris is the more extreme blend but there’s that stoner-tinged progginess that rises up into a big crush now and then. I'm also mostly hearing the death metal that people have been referencing - this might be a product of the thrash elements converging with sludge in a way that pulls the sound out of either one particularly. "Asphyxiation", for example, is largely what I'd consider a slow thrash song, and you can hear it in "Prometheus Rise" (possibly my favorite) and a few others, and when you mash that into the meatier riffs you'd get writing from more of a doom/sludge perspective, the leanness and tempo shifts make me think death. And then "Siege" has a certain Bolt Thrower-ness to it (I take it back, this one's my favorite).

All in all, it's a much better sound with more solid writing, and I would say definitely in competition for the best album in this range of styles I've heard this year.

You can definitely hear the Vengaboys influence as well, and I am really looking forward to the bonus edition of the album that comes with the covers medley.
----
"Earth is small and I hate it" - Lum Invader

I'm the Agent of Steel.
Loading...

Hits total: 2132 | This month: 54