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Vulture – The Guillotine

Vulture
The Guillotine
by Mick at 18 September 2017, 8:19 AM

German thrashers VULTURE have unleashed their debut full-length album “The Guillotine” following the success of their EP “Victim to the Blade.” Being touted as a sped up JUDAS PRIEST/MERCIFUL FATE concoction, “The Guillotine” seems to be looking to take its place among hardcore Speed and Thrash fans’ Metal libraries.

Vendetta” starts off the album with what feels like a musical score to a low budget 1973 horror or sci-fi film, which actually is pretty cool.  I can just see the grainy film quality and choppy edits that are so indicative of that era’s film genre. The song then kicks into a short open chord progression, which I wished would have gone one measure longer, then rips into a gut busting, driving assault. However, once the vocals come in, the song goes from intense to chaotic and tends to detract from the music’s razor’s edge. The layered, heavy reverb and slap back delay effects on the vocals are a bit much. Though the KING DIAMOND-like high notes do add some flavor, they seem a bit out of place with the texture of the main vocal delivery and are too distinct in their similarity comparison. “Clashing Irons” continues the intensity going as track 2, keeping the listener on the edge of their seat. This formula is repeated with track 3 as well, “Triumph of the Guillotine.” Both songs follow a pounding backbeat format laced with crunching guitar riffings and grooves that both Thrash and Speed Metal aficionados will enjoy.

The high points of this album are the last three tracks, “(This Night Belongs) To the Dead,” “Paraphiliac” and “Cry for Death.” The acoustic intro to “(This Night Belongs) To the Dead” is very captivating and moves seamlessly into the hammering opening chords.  Its inclusion subtlety lets listeners know that musically, the band is capable of going deep. The initial opening riff chunking of “Paraphiliac” briefly resembles the opening of JUDAS PRIEST’sSolar Angels” but with more of an adrenaline rush. Whereas the pounding bass line at the beginning of “Cry for Death” offers a building groove giving the album some much needed space. Though “The Guillotine” without a doubt has an old school feel to it, these last three tracks really reflect the band’s roots and inspirations even more so. All the classic elements are present and accounted for… and because of their familiarity, they do not disappoint and the listener is not left wanting.

There are definitely more influenced aspects to the band’s writing style than just Judas Priest and Merciful Fate.  At times, you can also hear MOTORHEAD, ACCEPT, OVERKILL and HALLOWEEN (Kai Hanson tenure)… especially in the soloing work. These are all great influences to have and were used extremely well to culminate the power punch associated with VULTURE’s musical delivery on “The Guillotine.” However, the piece that did it in for me was the vocals.  As previously mentioned, the weighty reverb and delay were a bit much… even for me… being that I am a huge fan of the old school vocal delay and have often times been accused of being heavy-handed myself.  Their over usage made the vocals too hollow and thin… there was no bite,  in addition to feeling like every song was being sung that exact same way. No consistent connection was made by the vocals to extract an emotional response from the listener… they just seemed to fill a spot and provided no additional depth or enhancement to the song’s musical composition. Although hints of the vocal’s potential can be heard in “Clashing Irons” as you can almost hear an underlying Jon Oliva-esque quality and grain… it’s just too bad it’s hidden behind all of the effects.

The band is incredibly talented and provides enough piss and vinegar to fuel a fleet of jet fighters going into battle… so that is not in question. From an instrumentation standpoint all the bases are covered… the band and the album have something to offer, but for how long…? Unfortunately, battles are won in the trenches and often lost at the guillotine.

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

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Vendetta
2. Clashing Iron
3. Triumph of the Guillotine
4. Electric Ecstasy
5. Adrian's Cradle
6. (This Night Belongs) To the Dead
7. Paraphiliac
8. Cry for Death 
Lineup:
L. Steeler - Vocals
M. Outlaw - Guitars
S. Genozider - Guitars & Drums
A. Axetinctor – Bass
Record Label: High Roller Records
     


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Edited 17 August 2022
 

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