Album In Review: Vatican Falling -War
Who is Vatican Falling?
Vatican Falling comes from the land where hopes and dreams go to die. Not L.A. but the the other prized city of entertainment, Las Vegas. Comprised of members from bands long gone to form an epic super group of bromance that is Vatican Falling .
The band was formed in early 2016. Influenced by heavy hitters in the industry such as The Black Dahlia Murder, Volumes, Gorgoroth, Make Them Suffer, All Shall Perish, Unearth and more. Vatican Falling has done a great job of setting themselves apart from their influences to create their own unique sound and contribution to the Deathcore scene and Metal genre as a whole.
On a personal note….
This band is one of the first local bands I started to follow. How I came to meet these talented fools was all based off a dare from a friend I was having lunch with . I was dared to leave my number on a Jeep and thus a platonic friendship with Dustin Allen was born that introduced me to the world of Local Live Music. My first time seeing them play live was at the eNVy showcase at House of Blues years ago. I’ve followed them ever since watching the growth of Adam’s vocal range and techniques as well as the ever awe inspiring writing of Dustin making everything melodically fall into place. I am happy to see them continuing to write more music and looking forward to what comes next. I am forever thankful that I took up that dare so many years ago, as I don’t know what my life would be without local music and you would not be reading this now.
Vatican Falling Members:
Adam Ray- Vocals
Nick Robinson -Drums
Marc Cula -Rythm Guitar
Dustin Allen- Lead Guitar
Thomas Palmer- Bass
Chris Storey of All Shall Perish
Matt Mabie of Deathcore Dad Memes
Album Artwork: Den Yudi
Genre: Deathcore, Metal
Release Date: 03/26/2020
Available On: All Streaming Platforms
Into The Pit Ranking –
If you are a fan of this band and are familiar with their previous releases you will immediately pick up on the differences in the sound of this LP. There’s a lot they put into this album that sets it apart from their previous 2 releases Famine & Conquest.
On an album and track title level there are certainly some that are more unique and some that fall into the overlap category with multiple bands having the same song titles in other similar and opposing genres of music . With that being said the lyrical content itself relieves the lack of unique quality on a title level with more in depth writing and a clearer understanding of the vocals throughout
The album kicks off with Panic on the Frontline with a soldier writing a letter to his lover about his impending doom in the battle ahead before it fades into a melodic lick and Adam’s voice comes out in full force to attack your ears. It is clear from just this first track that Adam has expanded his vocal arsenal. Next comes the title track WAR where they experimented with computerized female vocals which compliment the track really well and are not overly done like so many make the mistake of doing when layering in a new dimension to their sound.
Isolate Me is one of the top tracks for this LP. The lyrics hit home in addition to it’s catchy guitar parts. It’s a fitting song for this chaotic time right now with the COVID 19 pandemic. King of Vermin comes in next with some decent guest vox from Matt Mabie of Deathcore Dad Memes and a solo from All Shall Perish’s Chris Storey, who has since been announced by VF as replacing Marc on guitar.
Lament Configuration has some sick guitar runs and definitely is a win. While Reaper in some areas comes off as a little busy. Around 2:08 of You Don’t Know Anything there is a 20 second riff of bliss that i wish would have kept going. This track originally had clean vocals but to keep with the heavier sound and was later changed to give it that brutiful feel.
Once you take the time to digest the new bells and whistles they’ve incorporated into this LP its now down to talking about production. All songs on a productions level were mixed evenly and well balanced with the appropriate level of dynamic sound when you plug in your ear buds. I have nothing bad to say about the production but also cant say that anything stood out above expected norms.
Final Thoughts –
A lot of the writing involved with this reminds me of a poem by a famous 1800’s poet and playwright Percy B Shelley called “The Mask Of Anarchy“. In the poem Shelley illustrates his outrage over of the Massacre at Manchester that happened during his residence in Italy. The poem goes on to paint members of the military and government in association with the four horsemen of the apocalypse and the detrimental impacts they have on society.
The album from start to finish is a well rounded piece of work that I would willingly mosh to. It caters to a wide variety of metal fans not just because of the Deathcore sound but also because of the thematic qualities of this album that are relate-able to both military vets and gamer nerds alike. Playing into my interests in particular with Diablo and growing up in a military household with friends that would appreciate and connect with this material.
King of Vermin (Ft. Matt Mabie) music video released 03/25/2020
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