Vermithrax are what American power metal used to be: gritty, salt-of-the-earth, lead-heavy, fast, melodic, and built for war. Their recently hatched full-length debut album (after a widely circulated EP that was released in 2013), Imperium Draconus, continues Vermithrax’s glory-bound crusade with a dragon-lunged singer in imposing, stout-hearted captain Chris Roy to lead them. Nothing has ever been rote about Vermithrax’s brand of power metal, and Imperium Draconus is no exception. There is no tedious, derivative gallop or fragrant, happy harmonizing. There is no princess to save. No crown to capture. There are only skulls to split and battles for all creation to win. Acts such as Metal Church, Jag Panzer, Helstar, Agent Steele, and Iced Earth are reverently summoned as indelible influences on tracks such as “Enoch” and “Crucified By Hate” while a Flotsam & Jetsam medley closes the record to serve as a history lesson.
Vermithrax stand atop the crimson ashes, lording over a scorched landscape and looking toward a blackened horizon. Guitars gleam, vocals roar, and drums deafen with righteous thunder in the lost realm of Vermithrax. May they be legend.