Second Opinion: Vultures Vengeance – The Knightlore

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Back in April our resident crustacean reviewed the new record from Vulture’s Vengeance, today we’ve got a second take for you.

Old Italian heavy metal has been a favorite since I first got into the genre. The stirring, dark, progressive leanings of bands like Dark Quarterer and Adramelch resonates with me, and unfortunately, nobody is really doing that kind of mood anymore- except for (relative) newcomers Vultures Vengeance. That’s not to say that the music is dead on for any of the original bands, or that it’s even really noticeably influenced by it. What is there is an atmosphere, a way that the instruments and songwriting flow, and just a mood that strikes me with The Knightlore as being very Italian, in the best possible of ways.

The actual sound that the band is striking at is somewhere in between epic heavy metal and something more with more mysticism. From the getgo, you’re hit by absolutely gorgeous leadwork, which is the most immediate standout thing that Vultures Vengeance present here. Every song is full of them; they float in and out of sections constantly, providing a melodic backdrop to riffs that don’t have them inherently, and supporting the ones that do. The next thing to hit is the vocalist, who is clearly highly inspired by Tim Baker of Cirith Ungol, and the extremely punchy drums that burst through the mix with enthusiasm that’s almost at odds sometimes with the mood; this is a quirk of production, however, as the actual drumming always suits the music perfectly.

There’s a sense motion and development to the songs that isn’t common to run into in heavy metal, which brings back my former mention of Dark Quarterer. Though again Vultures Vengeance do not sound much like them, the way that the songs come together reminds me of the former group, which is indeed a compliment of the highest order. Faster and chunkier riffs slide into slower arpeggios, and no chord remains unbroken for too long. Nor do sections of introspection last enough to gall, as each is inevitably pushed into something more traditional before it can overstay its welcome. The powerful compositions are pushed along by the leadwork, which carries riffs that might not individually suit the mood of a song and connects riffs that might be dull in sequence otherwise. Rather than being a crutch, it’s clearly a writing tool being used to great effect, and one that I admire a good deal. I really can’t say enough good things about the leadwork; not many bands do anything similar, but it’s an amazing addition to the band’s sound, and one that’s captivating.

Vultures Vengeance sounds like nothing so much as themselves, and for all that I’ve talked about the music, I find it hard to really give it justice because of how individual their music is. This is not a band that I can compare easily to others, despite being able to hear some of their influences, nor can I write about in a way that will shed light on to you; you’ll just need to listen to it yourself, so that you can be mesmerized as I’ve been. These guys are the real deal, and I hope that they can continue to impress as they have so far in the small amount of releases they’ve already had because so far, they’ve been phenomenal.

Listen to Vultures Vengeance here, and buy their music in the same place.

All pictures courtesy of Gates of Hell Records.

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