Hutch reviews the latest Teutonic offering from Vulture…
Contemporary thrash with a deep coating of the old school. That’s the immediate thoughts as the quintet from Dortmund kick start their third album Dealin’ Death, the follow up to 2019’s Ghastly Waves & Battered Graves.
The brief intro quickly segues into the ferocious razor-sharp assault of Malicious Souls. It’s fast and furious with vocalist Leo Steeler making an immediate impact with his range, hitting the high levels of Blitz, Eric ‘AK’ and John Cyriis, whilst able to drop several octaves to get to the gravelled tones of Chuck Billy and Mille Petrozza. Count Your Blessings steps briefly towards black metal in parts, although there is a Flotsam & Jetsam vibe circa Doomsday kicking its way out for most of the song. The speed style of Raven, Razor and Exciter also spring to mind.
It’s hard not to draw comparisons with those bands who paved the way over three decades ago, such is Vulture’s style. They are comfortable with twin guitar harmonies, chanting choruses and a thumping pace which keeps the band powering along. It is both raw and polished, with the band much happier with this record than its predecessor. The structures of the tracks sound simple but underneath it lies a steely determination to keep the thrash vibe running. And they do it with ease. Steeler’s vocals may push a few people away, but that’s an issue for those who cannot cope with the high-pitched singer’s rather schizophrenic style.
According to former drummer and now guitarist Stefan Castevet, the album was written and recorded with little pressure and a relaxed approach. “For the first time since our debut EP we didn’t feel any pressure at all. The whole song writing process felt very natural from start to finish. There were little to no doubts”.
It’s virtually all proto-speed and thrash, enhanced with some rich melodies underpinning the tracks and an overall feel which definitively leans towards the US metal movement of the 1980s. it’s frantic and highly charged, with the tempo changes between chugging riff heavy middle sections and the all-out thrash attack of high paced explosive tracks.
Lyrically Vulture focus on their love of classic horror stories, movies and art. Vulture draw from Edgar Allen Poe’s classic The The Pit And The Pendulum on the title track, Gorgon draws from the Greek mythos Medusa and penultimate blast Multitudes of Terror ventures inside the mind of someone suffering from paranoia.
At times Dealin’ Death steps of the thrash path but in general it’s a meaty, tasty treat. There are a few ropey tracks, the worst being the final song The Court of Caligula but overall, Vulture are another band from the bubbling German thrash pool that is well worth checking out.
Vulture – Dealin’ Death is out this Friday via Metal Blade Records