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Vektor - Activate Award winner

by Chris Hawkins at 15 May 2021, 8:27 AM

While 2020 was a year of dystopian tragedy worldwide, for many musicians, it inspired a rebirth of inspiration.  It thus happened to VEKTOR.  After disbanding in 2016, the outlook for the band’s future seemed grim to say the least; however, David DiSanto and Erik Nelson decided to reconvene and reactivate the band, hence the EP’s name, “Activate”.  Armed with new bassist Stephen Coon and drummer Mike Ohlson, VEKTOR stands ready to write the next chapter of their Thrash-story.

The title track is up first and follows a path similar to previous recordings.  Within just seconds, it becomes clear VEKTOR has lost none of its edge – aggressively or creatively.  Listening to the super-tight precision delivered by the band, one realizes that this is the sound of Modern Thrash for VEKTOR manages to tap into past greats while still moving the ball down the field cleverly and conceptually.

The studio work here is executed to perfection by enhancing the band’s sound.  One can think of it as a weaponized assault with the guitars flying through the air with machine gun velocity while the bass and drums are rear-posted artillery.  Their sound, though, is methodically coordinated as a team with each member having the spotlight at times while the others reinforce their position.  The overall effect yields the clarity and expanse of Prog with the razor-sharp tenacity of Trash, a balance struck between the worlds encapsulating their ethos.

While the title track explodes with a fury ideal as an opener, it is the second track, “Dead By Dawn,” that stretches the limits of the listener’s imagination.  The beginning has an almost narcotic-like effect with a hypnotic sway that mimics the still, quiet moments when one can hardly differentiate between the waking and dreaming world.  This vibe is maintained for almost the entire first half, but the climax occurs when the distortion forcefully knocks that door down.  The contrast between the two halves of the song as such maximizes the impact to consume the listener.  VEKTOR unleash a barrage of technical riffs ensuring this track will not soon be forgotten before a brief return to the first section.  Ending with the shock and awe bombast for which the band has become known, “Dead By Dawn” steals the show on this EP as it is a true epic in every sense.

The excitement in the air surrounding VEKTOR is truly palatable.  While these two songs are but a preview of what is to come, they stand as a testament to this reinvigorated vehicle for creative expression.  All fans of Thrash should pick this up for it is a showcase for the very cutting edge of the genre.

Songwriting:  9
Originality: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Activate
2. Dead By Dawn
David DiSanto – Vocals, Guitar
Erik Nelson – Guitar
Stephen Coon – Bass
Mike Ohlson – Drums
Record Label: District 19


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Edited 02 December 2022

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