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Vulture – Dealin’ Death

Vulture
Dealin' Death
by Gary Hernandez at 09 July 2021, 2:33 PM

Thirty years since its emergence, Thrash Metal is still going strong and has pretty much touched every continent on the planet except for maybe Antarctica . . . but having mentioned it, I’m sure there will be Metal-themed cruise ship heading that way soon. Amongst the esteemed ranks of global Thrash Metal, of course, is Teutonic Thrash metal.  And amongst them is VULTURE, a five-man outfit out of Dortmund, Germany. They formed in 2015 and recently their third full-length album, “Dealin’ Death,” on Metal Blade.

Guitarist Stefan Castevet describes the ten-track album thus: “Take all our key elements – fierce riffing, halftone-shifts, aggressive vocals, huge toms, changing dynamics, horror-synths and classical twin guitar harmonies and cast it in a mold, then you have ‘Dealin’ Death.’” Highlights of the album include stellar production values. I spend a lot of time listening to underground Metal, and it’s always a pleasure to hear an album that has gritty, raw sensibilities produced so well. Part of that is what you get with a major label like Metal Blade; the other part has to be credited to Alexander Stöcker at Monkey Moon Studios who led the recording and Marco Brinkmann at Hellforge Studio who handled the production.

Lyrically, VULTURE is less about ranting about politics than raving about horror. Tracks like “Malicious Souls,” “Below the Mausoleum,” “Multitude of Terrors,” “Gorgon,” and “Flee the Phantom” are case in point as well as the Poe inspired cover art. Sonically the album is 95% Thrash with 5% reserved for some atmospheric touches which are layered in through the introduction, “Danger is Imminent,” as well as several openings and flourishes.

The album is very consistent, with very few ups and downs. There aren’t any tracks that completely kill, but there are also no regrets. My personal favorites are “Below the Mausoleum” and “Multitudes of Terror”which both come across a little more nuanced and compositionally complex than the others.

Overall while “Dealin’ Death” is well executed from a technical standpoint, it lacks some urgency and viscera. The riffs are heavy, the tempo is insistent, the solos are searing, but there doesn’t seem to be anything at stake. Maybe it goes back to the lyrical intent. When you listen to South American Thrash, for instance, it’s about geo- and socio-political atrocities that are affecting real people in horrific ways. If that type of social commentary is your bag, then “Dealin’ Death” probably isn’t for you. You know what? Screw that. Even if it is your bag, you should probably stop taking shit so seriously, go out and buy VULTURE, and just crank it to 11.

Songwriting: 5
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 5
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Danger Is Imminent
2. Malicious Souls
3. Count Your Blessings
4. Gorgon
5. Star-Crossed City
6. Flee the Phantom
7. Below the Mausoleum
8. Dealin' Death
9. Multitudes of Terror
10. The Court of Caligula
Lineup:
A. Axetinctör – Bass
S. Castevet – Guitar
M. Outlaw – Guitar
L. Steeler – Vocals
G. Deceiver – Drums
Record Label: Metal Blade
     


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Edited 24 September 2021
 

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