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VULTURE
VULTURE
The Guillotine
(High Roller Records)
38:29min

German Speed Metal merchants VULTURE deliver their highly anticipated first full length album simply entitled “The Guillotine” and as one might’ve expected, it comes with a lot of swirling and raging guitar leads, Baloff style high pitched vocals, horror synth intros and everything else that already made “Victim To The Blade” the killer demo / EP (call it what you will) that it is. So as mentioned above the album starts with some 80s horror movie inspired synth doodling that leads into the first single ‘Vendetta’ which delivers “classic” VULTURE. As with 99% of the rest of the record, this song could easily have been on “Victim…” as well. A great Speed Metal track with some killer twin guitar leads and top notch songwriting. Track #2 ‘Clashing Iron’ definitely is my personal highlight since it has this classic ‘Piranha’ groove to it which slays everyone and everything in its way. However, besides the similar groove the song is neither a rip off nor a tribute or something since it has its very own character. ‘Triumph Of The Guillotine’ continues with the VULTURE standard formula consisting of fast riffs, shrieking leads, high(est) energy and great breaks. The next song was actually the one I anticipated the most since the title somehow made me think of it being something out of the ordinary (maybe something like ‘D.T.D.’). ‘Electric Ecstasy’ however is probably my least favorite track of the record since it somehow lacks this certain level of energy the band usually delivers. The middle part is great but somehow I got a bit bored with the verse / chorus parts. After that it’s time for the B-side which again starts with some synth sounds but this time it’s more Castlevania than horror. A really great track in my opinion, very epic sounding and a great introduction. After that it is screams and shredding galore again. Baloff is screaming with Murray / Smith on speed shredding till their fingers are falling off. But surprise surprise the record gets calmer and acoustic guitars take over, oh no wait – a stomping groove kicks in and leads into an even more stomping galloping rhythm. Somehow I get a lot of MERCYFUL FATE vibes from this song which definitely is something I rate as very positively. ‘Paraphiliac’ hails the Speed Metal gods again and is yet another wet dream for every VULTURE fanboy. The closer then starts off with bass only and a very QUINTESSENZ-ish lead guitar underlined by a fist-pump rhythm. Great leads follow and suddenly the tempo reaches VULTURE standards again and off we go. “The Guillotine” is definitely a very well-crafted record. The songwriting is top notch, the production is powerful and clean yet not sterile and too polished. The only thing that somehow is missing are the big songs. After many spins there’s no real standout track(s) or “hits” which is actually something I’m looking for when listening to stuff like that. But who cares, if I want hits I probably should listen to ABBA. In case you live under a rock and haven’t heard from VULTURE before go check out www.vulturekills.com and / or www.facebook.com/vulturekills, everybody else already knows where to get proper information from. Label contact: www.hrrecords.de

Marco Stebich

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