Location: Springfield, Missouri
Genre: Blackened heavy metal
Full length: Decomposing Spells
Format: CD, digital
Label: Hells Headbangers
Release date: November 1, 2022
After finding a review posted at Metal Digest (the link was posted at the Facebook profile of Billy Nocera of Razorback Records and Evilspeak magazine) I was inspired to listen to this album and see what I thought of it.
Adam McCann of Metal Digest described Vaultwraith as taking a flamethrower to the template of underground/old school metal to blacken the edges. I see his point while listening to the band firsthand, and would also describe them as dousing the template in napalm and allowing it to settle for a time, so it’s exposed, inflamed and a little bloody.
If Witchery, Nifelheim and Deatwitch (along with Deceased and Toxic Holocaust) are commonly on your playlist, “Decomposing Spells” is something pulsing with horror, theatrics and a fondness for its craft. Unapologetically old school and brutal, unconcerned with toning anything down or pursuing anything in vogue, Vaultwraith is a blackened heavy metal band through and through.
The band has made impressions of channeling the music they matured with since their first demo in 2016 and their debut full length “Death Is Proof of Satan's Power” in 2017. “Decomposing Spells” epitomizes their adamancy at writing and recording to come across as raw, animated, explosive and in your face, it adds just enough harmony, keyboards and atmosphere to etch its own mark.
The cover art suggests a typical aprroach to dark power metal, but once you hear the songs you’ll perceive something far more profound. With lyrics reeking of occultic horror fantasy spewed by vocalist Esteban Walpurgis like a despoiler of vital life force from the most bottomless perdition, or Nosferatu awakened from his coffin, the band companionably escort you to crumbling, creaking manor dwellings, then lock you insife to observe the unsanctified occurrences within.
In the world Vaultwraith constructs there’s little light and more than enough mystery to compel your curiosity to stay. They also have a personalized process integrating heaviness, tunefulness, resonance, trepidation and alarm into a style that transforms their roots into something to distinguish as their own. “Decomposing Spells” is a seamless example of playing what you feel and spawning something honest and unspoiled. Support the band and their label; it's deserved. –Dave Wolff
Esteban Walpurgis (Billy Nocera): Vocals, lyrics
The Warlock (William Wardlaw): All Instruments
1. Wax Cylinder Apparition
2. The Devil's Dish Served Cold
3. Decomposing Spells
4. Carnivorous Coven
5. Church Burned
6. The Sinister Scythe
7. Full Circle Possession
8. Hearse Hauntress
9. The Mortuary Succubus
10. Of Skeletons and Metal
Vaultwraith at Bandcamp (full discography here)