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Vatika - Act No. 1 Award winner

Act No. 1
by Kyle Scott at 10 September 2018, 7:31 AM

Thrash and Heavy Metal are a well-known match made in heaven. The two make perfect sense! Problem is, a good deal of other metal bands think so, too. VATIKA stands out among the rest who thought to hybridize Thrash and Heavy by strengthening the bond with the inclusion of Punk circle pit beats and all the aggressive parts of 80s Speed vocals. VATIKA doesn’t like to get soft and take a break to do a sappy ballad. They aren’t afraid to get melodic, that’s not an issue. They just know that aggression should be the dominant trait to their sound, and their vitriol is in a steady enough supply to carry them through the entire album.

The title track opens up Act No.1 with a brooding bassline accompanied by dissonant chords like dark fanfare. It sweeps you away in Andreas’ harpy shriek high notes and drops you into an undulating pit of violent abandon. Nearly every track explodes with hellish fury. Finger-melting, toxic chords dominate the listeners attention with dizzying progressions. VATIKA plays off the horror movie vibe with haunted, morbid tales in songs like “The Wolf”, “The Spirit White”, and “Medusa’s Island”. Rumbling, mechanical basslines seek to run your ass over in “The Gathering”. “Never Again” is a terrible acid trip that all those black and white PSAs from the sixties warned about. Ghostly moaning lyrics interrupted by Andreas’ own anguished wails. “Walk in Hell” is an angry jaunt through the underworld with Satan himself, presumably. “Vatika” shows off just how aggressive VATIKA loves to get. Turns out I lied about VATIKA refusing to sing ballads or take breaks between songs because the final song “She Awakes" is beautiful, peaceful and quiet. Chords are sparse and ring out into a dark void but it feels far from sad.

VATIKA’s Act No. 1 has all the makings of one hell of a Thrash party!

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 8
Memorability: 7
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

1. Act No.1 Nightwing
2. The Wolf
3. Inside This House
4. The Spirit White
5. Medusas Island
6. The Gathering
7. Never Again
8. Walk In Hell
9. Vatika
10. She Awakes
Andreas Hedman - Bass, Vocals
Richard Holmgren - Drums
Alf Johansson - Guitars
Record Label: STF Records


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