Let us pause for a moment on this All Hallows’ Eve for a brief history lesson:
There are many competing theories as to the actual origin of Halloween. A lot of them relate to Western Christianity and All Saint’s Day, but fuck that noise – we’re a metal site, meaning we follow a more leftward-leaning path. Or at the very least, we prefer to think of Halloween in terms of its pagan roots, like the Celtic/Gaelic festival of Samhain (and let’s be honest – the Danzig association doesn’t exactly hurt). One of the four seasonal festivals on the Gaelic calendar, Samhain marked the end of the harvest season and the beginning of the “darker half” of the year – supposedly the start of winter, but we all know better than that, don’t we?
And as to how we got from a harvest festival to the parade of “slutty [insert noun here – George Washington? Rhododendron? Spatula?]” costumes? Dude…fuck if I know…
Here’s something that no one will dispute, though: Halloween is metal as fuck. And following that line of logic, is there anything more metal than a band releasing their debut album on Halloween?
No – of course there isn’t. And when the band in question is Vaultwraith and said album is called Death Is Proof of Satan’s Power? At that point everyone else might as well go home, because they’ve officially won Halloween.
According to the lore, the four vile individuals that comprise Vaultwraith—The Warlock, He of the Blasphemies; Alucarda Bellows, She of the Devil; Esteban Walpurgis, He of the Evil Rites; and Baron Blood, He of the Flesh & Blood—became one through an ancient, profane ritual, observed in the depths of a crumbling castle in an undisclosed location under the fiendish glow of a blood red full moon. And when that Vaultwraith spewed forth from whatever hellish depths it previously called home, it brought with it a style of metal rooted in the proto-black metal of Mercyful Fate and the first few Bathory albums: muscular, melodic, and evil as fuck.
Pick pretty much any track on Death Is Proof of Satan’s Power and you’ll find riffs upon riffs steeped in sulfur and penned with the sole purpose of holding the listener in thrall. The combined vocals of Walpurgis and Bellows come swarming from the speakers like they are legion, come to break your soul and then lay your worthless carcass as an offering at the feet of their Dark Lord. The only question is exactly which song will leave you muttering to yourself and trying to suck the blood from flies: the swaggering, mid-tempo “Ravaged in Crimson Mist”? The blackened thrash of “Infernal Realms Unfold”? Maybe you’ll be able to hold out until the doomed-out crawl of “Manifest of Midnight” or even the moody “High Priestess of the Wolf Coven.” But you can’t hold out forever, and by the time the record’s eldritch, keyboard-heavy closer “Skeletonized Malediction” reaches its conclusion, you will belong to Vaultwraith – in mind, body, and soul.
When asked about their history and inspirations, the band replied:
“VAULTWRAITH rose up in 2012 but never truly got going officially until 2016, when we released our debut demo Wrath of the Wraith. We recorded our first album Death Is Proof of Satan’s Power in the Fall of 2016. It’s heavily inspired musically by Mercyful Fate and King Diamond, but combined with our love for Black and Death Metal such as Celtic Frost, Bathory, Death, Nocturnus and Nunslaughter. We really mixed our influences to come up with a very atmospheric horror sound, which was influenced by our love for the European films from Paul Naschy, Jess Franco, Jean Rollin, Leon Klimovsky, and Amando de Ossorio, along with the Skywald horror magazine art from the 1970’s. We got signed to the mighty Hells Headbangers in early 2017, and we’re very proud to unleash our debut album on Halloween. VAULTWRAITH plays Devilcraft Metal exclusively!”
Death Is Proof of Satan’s Power is now available on both CD and LP from Hells Headbangers Records.