had better watch out, because Quo Vadis
are quickly making their way to the top of the Montreal Death Metal ladder. In fact, I will go on record saying these guys are probably one of the most proficient Death Metal bands around today, touching on styles made famous by the legendary Death. This album is the third for the band, their first since the departure of former Singer/Guitarist and lead songwriter Arie Itman and former bassist Remy Beauchamp. I hate to say it, but I doubt they'll be missed; Bart Frydrychowicz (guitar) does more than a sufficient job at writing new material, Stephané Paré fits the vocal slot perfectly and then comes the bass played by legendary Steve DiGiorgio.
Quo Vadis are a very distinct sounding metal band. While being very heavy, courtesy of the raspy vocals and blistering drums, they also manage to find just the right around of melody. They're a melodic Death Metal band, I guess you could say, but they sound nothing like a Gothenburg band. They're also a tech-metal band, but don't expect another Spiral Architect. Their sound is a very original one, moreso on this album than on their previous classic Day Into Night
. Steve DiGiorgio's fretless bass assault is a definite highlight of the album, and if you've heard any of his previous work (Death, Testament, etc) you'll realize why. The bass is highly audible, and is definitely a highlight on the album; you rarely hear these kinds of bass lines on a Death Metal album, then again you seem to rarely hear bass lines at all on a Death Metal album. Did I mention he uses a fretless? The drums sound like a sped up Dave Lombardo and I strongly believe their drummer (Yanic Bercier) is quickly -- very quickly -- coming for Flo Mounier's title. There's lots of double kick and a lot of speed, all of it being played flawlessly. The guitars are both crunchy yet technical. There is plenty of complex yet concurrently unostentatious riffing throughout the album. They manage to do something most bands in the same genre can't; distinguish themselves. Although maintaining a wonderful level of brutality, they also manage to make each song distinguishable from the others. They manage to be progressive without turning the album into a general wankfest (which they're totally capable of). They managed to use Latin lyrics and stringed arrangements (In Articulo Mortis) without coming off as pretentious.
- Highly technical while remaining totally listenable
- Crisp production which allows each instrument to be heard clearly while not becoming overbearing
- Each song is different
- While being fast, they're not fast for the sake of being so. They often take breaks from the speed as well
- Not everyone will "get" this in their first listen
- It's been said that the bass lines become a little too "adventurous", but I'd beg to differ
The pros definitely outweigh the cons in this case. While not perfect, this album is damned close. The Death influences are definitely there (Steve DiGiorgio being in the band adds to this), but they acknowledge it. In Articulo Mortis
is said to be (liner notes) to be a tribute, and the subsequent track Fate's Decent
was reportedly written in honour of the band. This album is a must own for fans of Death Metal, as is their equally amazing Day Into Night
. If you're a fan of Martyr, Into Eternity, Control Denied or Death, or just wonderfully executed Progressive Death Metal, you owe it to yourself to give these guys a chance.
The band's website has a free MP3 of the first track off the album, Silence Calls The Storm, which does a great job of previewing the album as a whole.
The Official Quo Vadis Website: http://www.quovadis.qc.ca/
Stand Out Tracks
- Silence Calls The Storm
- Break The Cycle
- Fate's Decent