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Vulture - Ghastly Waves and Battered Graves Award winner

Ghastly Waves and Battered Graves
by Ross Donald at 14 July 2019, 12:23 PM

VULTURE are a German speed metal band and this is their second full album release. This is the band’s first album under the Metal Blade Records banner and follows up 2017’s “The Guillotine” which is an excellent debut I’d recommend. Straight away I just love the tone of the album as it has the sound of traditional metal from the early 80's and brings it into the modern era while paying homage to the sounds of the past with similarities to the younger days of bands like Metallica and Iron Maiden without ripping them off at all.

Props have to be given to the vocalist, Steeler, as his performance is easily my favourite on the album from his high-pitched screams to the low-toned growling which works anytime they’re expertly placed on each track. It’s been a while since I’ve listened to an album that didn’t have a single weak track to point out, but this album manages this rarity with ease. I think a lot of that has to do with the masterful pacing. The band are smart enough to keep things different after each track.

For example, the album starts with it’s best and probably fastest track “Fed to Sharks” which is just a ferocious speed metal track that shows that the production has improved vastly since moving to Metal Blade while also melting your mind and your eardrums at the same time. So instead of following up with another fast track that might feel inferior, they opt to play “The Garotte” which has an eerie, atmospheric intro before diving into another rifftastic track that has just a slightly slower pace compared to the opening track. This way it’s able to stand out as another great track. Another highlight of the whole album is the feature of duelling guitar solos that pleases me to no end as a Maiden fanatic.

The title track is another standout moment on a record full of them as this is the longest track on the album and has one damn catchy chorus with a ghostly choir chanting “Ghastly Waves” and “Battered Graves”. All this and then more amazing guitar solos and a breakdown that sends chills down my spine. “Dewer’s Hollow” is the first pretty much straight forward thrash metal track on the album and stood out as well seeing as the rest of the album sticks to speed metal with the next track “Tyrantula” bringing things back up to speed quite literally. If I didn’t mention it earlier, just about every song has a bit of a horror movie tinge as if I couldn’t love it even more than I do.

The penultimate track “Murderous Militia” is a bit on the nose with how similar it is to Metallica’s 1983 track “Metal Militia” in both sound and name, but ends up more as an homage to a great time in metal history. The final track “Killer on the Loose” is a Thin Lizzy cover and turns out to be a great way to end proceedings as it breathes new life to an old classic. If you couldn’t tell, I had a blast with this record and it’s most likely gonna go down as one of my favourites to be released this year. If you miss the classic days of metal then you’ll really get a kick out of this, and modern metalheads will find a lot to love as well with an album that gifts you with more to discover after each listen.

Originality: 9
Songwriting: 9
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. Fed to Sharks
2. The Garotte
3. B.T.B. (Beyond the Blade)
4. Ghastly Waves & Battered Graves
5. Dewer’s Hollow
6. Tyrantula
7. Stainless Glare
8. Murderous Militia
9. Killer on the Loose
L. Steeler - Vocals
S. Genozider - Guitars
M. Outlaw - Guitars
A. Axetinctor - Bass
G. Deceiver - Drums
Record Label: Metal Blade Records


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Edited 23 March 2023

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