The fast-action video boasts a cinematic and apocalyptic vibe, as it features tight shots, hand-to-hand combat, and swordsmanship mixed with performance footage.
“To me, this song has just about the whole package,” says singer Mike Sugars. “Just a little bit of everything I like to hear in metalcore. I remember recording the chorus, and our producer Randy Lebouf saying, ‘I don’t understand how you thought to sing over this, but it’s just so perfect.’ The song is about people with irresponsible amounts of wealth and the damage they cause to the vast majority of regular people. We don’t need ’em.”
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.
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.