Savannah, Georgia five-piece VATICAN will release their new album ULTRA on June 17 via UNFD. Pre-order it here.
Today, they have shared the explosive video for “[ULTRAGOLD].” Watch it here.
“This is the dopest track on the record,” says guitarist Tom Lovejoy. “Big BREAKDOWNS, ridiculous RIFFS, and heavy HITTERS. ‘[ULTRAGOLD]’ was written in two hours at 2am while chugging Monster, and never changed from there. Full late night LAN party style. When I hear it, it reminds me of all the reasons I fell in love with hardcore. Everlasting growth, eternal youth, and lyrics that make you grab your friends and throw them into a wall.”
If you’ve not had a chance to witness a Vatican show yet — due to the pandemic or other reasons — allow this video to serve as a primer for the band’s volcanic live energy.
After developing a name for themselves and garnering press praise from Revolver, Kerrang!, New Noise, and more with 2019’s full-length Sole Impulse, Vatican stormed out of the gates hard in 2021, when they signed to UNFD and released their knockout double single effort Become A New God. Featuring singles “Absolute Reality” and “Fractured God,” both of which received full rotation adds on SiriusXM’s Liquid Metal, Become A New God saw Vatican tackling the complexity of the human experience and all its brokenness, uncertainties, strangeness, and need for constant self-reflection and improvement.” They followed with “Decemeta,” which dropped late last year at Brooklyn Vegan.
ULTRA TRACK LISTING:
“I Am Above”
“Where Heavens Collide”
“By Your Love”
“Miracle Of The Moon”
“N.U.M.B. (Neutralize Under Maternal Bond)”
“Did You Ever Notice I Was Gone”
Tom Lovejoy — Guitar
Jonathan Mackey — Bass
Nolan Mobley — Guitar
Josian Soto-Ramos — Drums
Mike Sugars — Vocals
ABOUT VATICAN + ULTRA:
Vatican are influenced by the “fuck you” frankness of heavy hardcore, but with the technical leads of djent and progressive metal. Cynical of technology, but enamored with video games. The band quickly began shaping their sound from nascent metalcore into something more complex and interesting.
By the time Vatican released their first full-length, Sole Impulse, in 2019, they had developed past their exploratory beginnings and were making a fairly serious mark in the scene with a polished, well-performed strain of challenging and confrontational metalcore. But an even more invigorating chapter began when vocalist Mike Sugars entered the fold in October 2020, replacing the band’s former frontman, John Whittle. Sugars had been fronting Indianapolis’ Church Tongue, friends of Vatican who just so happened to be slowing down as a band when Sugars was contacted by Soto-Ramos. The mutual admiration of each other’s dopeness led to an instant connection, with Sugars making his recorded debut on last year’s Become a New God double single. He quickly infused the band with a new energy, as well an immediately focused lyrical theme of regaining self-control and owning one’s problems in such a way that, well, one becomes their own god. Fast-forward to 2022.
With their latest full-length, Ultra, the band have metabolized all their ambitiously varied musical influences and merged them into a forward-thinking approach that pulls in their love of video games and subtle humor, resulting in an impossibly tasteful and wildly varied, post-modern metalcore affair.
As they did on other recent efforts, the band still harken to the complexity of Meshuggah’s polyrhythms and the Dillinger Escape Plan’s technical abrasion, as well as Hatebreed and Turmoil’s more straightforward, metallic hardcore foundation – but there’s also guitarist Tom Lovejoy’s electronics and Sugars’ clean singing.
Ultra is infused with the band’s overall personality, and what results is a subtle aura of dark satire that’s more refined than it sounds on paper. ” Above it all, Sugars bellows, barks, and sometimes sings a wide range of topics spanning more emotions than just anger. To be sure, he rages against inhumane billionaires and the ills of nü-internet; grapples with mixed feelings towards his father; and much more.