Pittsburgh power thrashers VERMITHRAX have inked a deal with Divebomb Records for the release of their sophomore album, "Imperium Draconus", which is due October 12.
Striving to resuscitate the aggressive, driving metal of the mid-'80s thrash scene, VERMITHRAX was forged in 2012 by vocalist Chris "Croy" Roy (READING ZERO, EMANCIPATION SYNDICATE) and drummer J.R. Jameson (NUNSLAUGHTER, ICARUS WITCH, MERCENARY). Joined by guitarist Scott "Hagz" Haggerty and bassist Tom Donaldson (MERCENARY, EYE), the quartet issued its debut EP, "Volume 1" in 2013, with the metal press hailing the band's deft blend of progressive and thrash elements, thundering drums, shredding solos, as well as Croy's multi-faceted vocals.
Sharing the stage with such heavy-hitters as ICED EARTH, METAL CHURCH, QUEENSRŸCHE, FATES WARNING, OVERKILL, SABATON, LIZZY BORDEN, WHILE HEAVEN WEPT and EVERGREY has aided VERMITHRAX in sharpening their skills in preparation for "Imperium Draconus". Recorded at the band's personal studio, The Lair, the album was mixed by Christopher Lee Simmonds (THOUGHT INDUSTRY, FILTER, EMANCIPATION SYNDICATE) and Jim Dofka (DOFKA, PSYCHO SCREAM).
The anthemically epic vibe of "Enoch" and brooding chug of "Crucified By Hate" are definitive emblems of VERMITHRAX's balanced yet varied approach, featuring an array of blistering guitar solos and animated, identifiable vocals. "Road To Athkatla" emerges as the album's razor-sharp foray into the adventurous worlds of progressive and power metal, while "River Cruor" immediately breathes thrashing mad fire. Written as an homage to SLAYER's Jeff Hanneman on the day he passed, it lends the perfect counterbalance to the intricately nuanced and powerful "Spellbound", and the pummeling, prog-tinged driver, "Calling My Name". The disc closes with a medley of two FLOTSAM AND JETSAM staples — "Hammerhead" and "Hard On You" — as a heartfelt tribute to one of the band's favorite classic thrash influences.
"Imperium Draconus" track listing:
01. Sacred Keys Of…
03. Crucified By Hate
04. Road To Athkatla
05. River Cruor
07. Calling My Name
08. Hammerhead/Hard On You