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Vampire - With Primeval Force

With Primeval Force
by Gabriel "Svrtr" Zimmerman at 07 June 2017, 11:38 PM

Generally, when one thinks of fantasy based lyrics of swords and dragons, their mind immediately wanders to power metal with its soaring vocals and heavy emphasis on guitar work. However, this is not always the case as evidence by today’s VAMPIRE and their newest release "With Primeval Force." Though not as expositionary in their lyricism as power metal bands tend to lean towards, they do have a medieval European theme or ghost of a theme throughout their songs amidst their thrash filled death metal. As to not keep you waiting, let us dive right in.

Opening with “Knights of the Burning Crypt”, one instantly can hear the heavy thrash influences in the opening riff. The buildup is a bit slow admittedly, but it is worth it. The emphasis is certainly placed on the guitar that seems to somewhat carry the song, but nonetheless there are some strong riffs throughout the song, but admittedly they are few in number. While there is good guitar work it does not shine enough to warrant a seemingly diminished role in other aspects. I will give it props for a change in pace for the song’s ending, yet as a whole it does not feel innovative, or to better describe it, it feels like the same thing on loop.  Following this is “He Who Speaks”, of which the song far more embraces a punk-esque appeal, perhaps in calling back to the hardcore roots of thrash metal. Yet admittedly it feels the same way, as if there are only 3 parts to the song, one of which is the guitar solo, and that the other two are on repeat looping each other. In spite of this, less noticeable but equally present and in this song perhaps greater in measure is the bass. You really must keep an ear out for it, but I feel the bass work on this song is incredible and really helps every other part shine and come together. Sadly this does not cover for the fact that the song feels cyclical and repetitive.

“Skull Prayer” certainly does the same with the guitar, but being a more condensed song it feels less repetitive. However, I think my favorite guitar work on the album is almost certainly on this song. There is certainly a sort of hearkening to METALLICA in some aspects of the band as a whole but certainly in the guitar solo of this song. Structuring of a song is a key element in song making and instrumentals alike, and as such parallels can easily be drawn between VAMPIRE and METALLICA, though of course many other bands come to mind. Ultimately though, besides perhaps some of the guitar work on “Scylla”, the album feels like it stagnates a bit, and somewhat rapidly. Each song has a riff that feels like it is on loop and has a guitar solo and that is nearly the entirety of each song.

Ultimately, while I always love some good death metal and would love for this album to be great, I cannot honestly say that it is a great album. There is some nice guitar work here and there (props to “Skull Prayer” and perhaps “Ghoul Wind”) the album as a whole feels like just guitar work with backing in terms of the song compositions.  I hope that VAMPIRE makes great albums in the future but for now it feels as if they need to go back and put emphasis on every aspects of the songs’ compositions and progressions and not just their guitars.

Songwriting: 6
Originality: 7
Memorability: 6
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Knights of the Burning Crypt
2. He Who Speaks
3. Metamorfosis
4. Skull Prayer
5. Midnight Trial
6. Revenants
7. Ghoul Wind
8. Initiation Rite
9. Scylla
Command - Bass
Hand of Doom - Vocals
Black String - Guitars
Abysmal Condor - Drums
Sepulchral Condor - Guitar
Record Label: Century Media Records


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Edited 28 January 2023

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