Vaultwraith - Death Is Proof of Satan's Power - (7.5/10)
Published on October 31, 2017
Death Is Proof of Satan’s Power is the debut full length from Springfield, Missouri based blackened metal miscreants Vaultwraith. Though they didn’t release anything until their debut demo dropped in 2016, they apparently trace their history back to somewhere around 2012 when the members were apparently getting the legendary Nunslaughter drummer Jim Sadist to join their band. Unfortunately the union never happened and the project remained shelved until Jim’s untimely passing in 2015, which was the shot in the arm Vaultwraith needed to bring their vision to life; releasing the well-received Wrath of the Wraith demo in 2016.
What’s really cool about Death Is Proof of Satan’s Power is that it sounds exactly like a project Jim Sadist would have been involved with. It has that old school charm that gives zero shits what sub-genre you want to classify it as. Everything about Vaultwraith sounds like something from the early to mid ’80s, from the raw and biting production to the swaggering metal attack to the fantastical imagery used. It’s just one of those albums that offers a grand homage to times long gone without sounding one hundred percent derivative or overly tired. The band’s sound is rooted in some type of occult metal that blurs the lines between black metal, traditional metal, death metal, thrash metal, you name it; it all comes together into a haunting blur of sinister sounds.
A mix of crunchy, rollicking rhythms and punchy, fast paced guitar riffs blend together with a slower, mid-tempo sound to deliver a rather varied album across the board. The deep, growling vocals sound almost vomited at times, while the guitars mix caveman power chords with melodic flourishes. Haunting keys occasionally creep in, keeping the sinister, almost horror-tinged approach in the forefront. The band sounds strongest during the punchy, fast-paced sections that toy with some type of blackened heavy/speed metal, though the slower movements have their moments, like the stomping, headbanging groove during “High Priestess of the Wolf Coven”.
Honestly, Vaultwraith are really onto something here. If they continue to hone their sound into the diabolical tour de force they have to the potential to be, the results will be completely amazing. While much of Death Is Proof of Satan’s Power gets lost in the mid-tempo plodding, there are fantastic moments of pure bliss. These moments of upbeat, heavy metal mayhem are catchy as hell and leave me wanting more. Imagine a mix of Mercyful Fate, Celtic Frost, and Nunslaughter, and you’ll start to see what Vaultwraith is capable of. The future seems bright, indeed; at least as bright as old school metal dripping with an eerie, morbid atmosphere can be.