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Vulture Industries - Stranger Times

Vulture Industries
Stranger Times
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 15 September 2017, 7:49 AM

Hailing from Norway, Avant-Garde/Progressive Metal band VULTURE INDUSTRIES originally formed under the moniker of DEAD ROSE GARDEN in 1998, before some lineup changes that led to the new name in 2003. Following the release of two demo albums and an EP, the band released their debut full-length in 2007, titled “The Dystopia Journals.” Since then there have been two more releases, and now comes their fourth, “Stranger Times,” which contains nine new tracks. Season of Mist Records is surely one of the most diverse and modern labels out there and they have some of the best and most eclectic bands on their roster. There is a buzz about this band out there as well so I am excited at the opportunity for this review. Let’s get to the music, shall we?

“Tales of Woe” is the opening track. It hits you right away with an eclectic sound. At first there is a relatively simple guitar riff leading off the track, with lowered, whispered vocals that have a slight rasp to them. It’s almost Gothic in nature. Just after the halfway mark however, it picks up with layers of melody and ends on a wondrous note. “As the World Burns” has another odd sound at first…an airy and trippy experience from a groovy guitar riff and discerning vocals that are quite unlike anything I have heard. But again they pour on the melody leading to the end of the song, with a key change to boot. “Strangers” is the longer song on the album, at over seven minutes. Vocal harmonies lead off the song, with the soft notes of a trumpet at times. It has dreamy sound that drones with notes of Doom Metal at times. Very unique.

“The Beacon” is a little more of a dreamy landscape overall…heavy at times, but mostly rich with melodies and chord progressions that connect easily for the listener. “Something Vile” might be the first track on the album that has at least somewhat more of a traditional sound but there is no escaping the novel and unconventional personality of this band. They are adept at creating something totally unique but still very listenable. This song might sum up that statement best. Amidst the strange and mysterious sound are melody likes that are warm and inviting and you don’t have to look hard to find them. “My Body, My Blood” is a short two-and-a-half minute song, with a soulful hand of vocal harmonies and some strange sounding effects. It’s weird…sometimes you get a circus music vibe here but not the one you might take young children to.

“Gentle Touch of a Killer” is a gloomy affair as the title might suggest. I still hear a lot of Doom in this album; perhaps not in the traditional sense but it is quite despondent in many places. Does the killer come with a smile? Or, is he more interested in the process? The “gentle touch” of death is hard to fathom, and make you think for sure. “Screaming Reflections” is another intriguing song that really comes together as it moves along. The texture seems to be something tactile that you can touch in addition to hear. This is where some of the Progressive elements are more obvious. “Midnight Draws Near” closes the album. The whispered vocals are back and the staccato guitar strikes are like suspenseful warnings of something to come. But, as with many other tracks, the work in some memorable melodies as well.

The question on his eclectic and unique album is…will the average Rock/Metal fan buy the constructs here on this album, or is it too odd for most to easily assimilate? I suppose that answer would be very individual to each listener, but I sure did. If you like Progressive and Avant-Garde music, I think you will be very pleased with this offering as it stands outside many of the conventional borders of the genre but still contains some provocative songwriting and sophistication.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Tales of Woe
2. As the World Burns
3. Strangers
4. The Beacon
5. Something Vile
6. My Body, My Blood
7. Gentle Touch of a Killer
8. Screaming Reflections
9. Midnight Draws Near
Øyvind Madsen – Guitars
Eivind Huse – Guitars
Tor Helge Gjengedal – Drums
Kyrre Teigen – Bass
Bjørnar E. Nilsen – Vocals
Record Label: Season of Mist


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