UK metallers Vanadium are most definitely NOT to be confused with the old school Italian metallers of the same name and certainly haven’t been around anywhere near as long! They are, however, a very busy band indeed having released almost an album a year since 2009 with last year breaking the cycle thanks to some changes in personal to the line-up. Heaven’s Epithet, their fourth release, sees this new line-up tear its way through an album that is yet another example of the strength and quality of the metal scene in the UK.
The album does start off in typical metal fashion with an atmospheric introduction that perhaps is a little bit longer than it needs be but true opener, Nailstorm, does indeed live up to its name as it pins you to the ground with its ferocity. There’s thrash styled riffing running throughout before a breakdown chorus takes you into territory more akin to the likes of Machine Head. It also has a real feel of early Trivium to it with Adam Martin’s vocals reminding me greatly of Matt Heafy when Trivium first appeared on the scene. Great solo work on this one compliments the song perfectly too. As The World Opens has almost Slayer like leanings before hitting a fine line between thrash and death. There’s also a wonderful middle section that screams of Machine Head’s more melodic moments on The Blackening before it kicks into a huge beat down that runs through to its conclusion.
Frost on the Sun brings us another interlude of similar style to the album introduction, but again I’m not convinced that it’s really necessary as a separate track as it segues so perfectly into Midnight in Eden that allows the band to show an almost progressive style to their music. It’s a big slab of progressive melodic death metal. There’s some brilliant guitar runs backed by absolutely solid drum and bass foundations while Adam Martin gets to show he can do more than just growl deeply. The band take the song to many places and all in a hugely entertaining and coherent manner. Certainly the stand-out track on the album thanks to its complexity.
Instrumental interlude Lives Lost leads us into the final tracks of the album and shares a great deal in style and feeling with Frost on the Sun in the way it ties seamlessly into A Rose All Evil Chose, a track that pounds you with its build up before unleashing a sharp dose of precision blasted metal that’s full of aggression and anger. Legion of I rounds off the album with an almost old school metal vibe with its galloping feel and power metal styled groove. It’s positively anthemic and makes you want to pump your fists in the air, horns raised. Hell, they even round the feeling off with solo work that is in stark contrast to anything gone before it on the album. It makes for a great change of pace and also rounds off the album in fine style in a way you probably wouldn’t have expected having heard what came before it.
As I mentioned above, Vanadium are yet another band showcasing just how much talent, ability and diversity there is in metal in this little island nation of ours. They’ve produced an album that, although at times gets caught up in its own musicality with some perhaps unnecessary interludes between tracks, is highly professional, is pretty damn brutal and is sure to go down a storm with those who love their metal laced with melodic aggression.
Heaven’s Epithet of Lives Lost is available now directly from the band.
3. As The World Opens
4. Frost on the Sun
5. Midnight in Eden
6. Lives Lost
7. A Rose All Evil Chose
8. Legion of I
Adam Martin – Lead vocals/Guitar
FISH – Guitar
Dean Trott – Bass
Olan Parkinson – Drums