Nima : Vatika is a three-piece formation from Sweden that with 'Act No. 1 '(what's in a title?) presents its debut album. What the trio performs here is a combination of old-school and modern thrash, cross-over and traditional heavy metal. Try to imagine how it would sound if you were to combine more recent works by Slayer and Destruction with Iced Earth and King Diamond and you might get an idea of what to expect. But all in all modern thrash has the upper hand here. That means low-tuned guitars, generally heavy riffs, a lot of groove and many breaks.
Although the material is simply too modern for my taste, I have to say that this is absolutely not disappointing. The combination of the aforementioned styles of course provides a lot of variety, but it’s also done so cleverly that the whole sounds as a unit and not as a set of pieces glued together. The gentlemen also prove that they are capable to handle different styles well. In particular, the vocals stand out in the positive sense as bassist/vocalist Andreas Hedman stands his ground in both clean vocals and heavy metal screams and in his aggressive approach. The gentlemen also regularly come up with simple yet strong and catchy riffs, and generally know how to hold the aggression and energy well intact. In general, the men know how to make a good impression and prove that they have the necessary quality in house.
It must be a matter of taste, but in my opinion Vatika's strength lies mainly in the more old-fashioned, aggressive and the more straightforward approach. During the heavier, more grooving and mid-tempo pieces (read: modern), I find myself bored quite quickly and things get pretty long-winded. In that respect I have mixed feelings about this band/album, but in general I’m positive about it. Definitely worth to giving a shot.