Released by: Divebomb Records
Release date: 12 October 2018
Genre: American True Thrash Metal
Chris “Croy” Roy – Vocals
Scott “Hagz” Haggerty – Guitars
Tom Donaldson – Bass
JR Jameson – Drums
01. The Secret Keys To…
03. Crucified By Hate
04. Road To Athkatla
05. River Cruor
07. Calling My Name
08. Hammerhead/Hard On You
While Divebomb Records tends to deal more in reissues of rare, hard to find, out of print, and/or never released stuff from hidden gems of yesterday, every once in a while they unleash new material from up and coming bands as they attempt to forge their place in the pantheon of metal legends. While I was perusing the vendor’s room at the recent ProgPower event I bought a CD (OK, I bought a shitload of CD’s) by the band Vermithrax out of Pennsylvania. I was unfamiliar with them, and vocalist Chris “Croy” Roy had a display set up at the Divebomb/Tribunal table featuring their unreleased follow-up to their debut EP entitled Volume 1, called Imperium Draconus. I spoke briefly to Croy about the album, was intrigued by not only how he presented it verbally, but the snippets I heard throughout the weekend from it. I took a chance and grabbed it and was not disappointed.
Imperium Draconus is a strong collection of songs that are an excellent mix of Thrash and Power Metal with tinges of Progressive Metal for good measure. With this Testament meets Sanctuary sort of sound, Vermithrax deal out a powerful album chock full of so much Heavy Metal awesome. Masterful guitar licks and powerful chugging riffs from Scott “Hagz” Haggerty deftly create a driving sound that melds perfectly with Croy’s fantastic vocal delivery.
Drummer JR Jameson and bassist Tom Donaldson add an extra amount of intensity to great songs like “Crucified By Hate,” “Road To Athkatla,” “Spellbound,” and the excellent melody of the Flotsam & Jetsam tracks “Hammerhead” and “Hard On You.” I love how they so easily intersperse so many different elements of Metal without making it “too much.”
I’m damn glad I grabbed this album. ImperiumDraconus from Vermithrax is a tasty Metal album delivered by some excellent musicians capable of writing some catchy as hell Metal songs without losing an ounce of the heaviness. It’s captured an old school vibe while remaining immensely current, thanks to the efforts of such dedicated players to their craft. All four members have some rich pedigrees in their past musically, but it feels like Vermithrax is what it all was leading up to.
Written by: Chris Martin