Vulture Industries - Tapper, Tallinn, Estonia, 06.02.2015

Event: Vulture Industries: Live In Tallinn
Written by: Ivor
Published: 16.02.2015


Vulture Industries - Tapper, Tallinn, Estonia, 06.02.2015 by Ivor (36)

Vulture Industries are lunatics. Crazy as you wouldn't believe it. They ought to be locked away if it wasn't for the small fact that this manifestation of craziness in music is an appealing listening experience and a delightful stage performance. Makes you forget there ever was a word for designating the lack of interest. It's exciting.

Last time Vulture Industries played in this very same venue, they were the support band for Leprous. The pairing, though somewhat mismatched, worked brilliantly. However, the afterthought remained which band was the better one of the evening. Naturally, Vulture Industries had to concede as they weren't given the full set to shine. But the promise was there and thus the real question was whether they were good enough to play as headliners because, as you know, their choice of music is a bit of an acquired taste, to put it mildly.

So, a year and a half later, they are back with two bands doing the introductions. A bit surprisingly, the guests, the Finnish band Minutian, were given the opening slot. Not knowing what to expect other than progressive metal, I was in two minds. The part of me that loves prog was very excited: "oh look, a prog band has come to visit!" The same part of me was also acting very egocentric, all-knowing, and thus was very sceptical about it all. If it was any good I would surely have already heard of them, right?

Well, wrong. That all-knowing part of me is far from all-knowing. Minutian turned out to be unexpectedly good in a subdued sort of way. There was no focus on progression, no focus on instrumental prowess, no show-offs. Minutian's take on prog is sort of consequential. It's music that just happens to manifest itself as prog. It's not a target as such, and because of that it feels subdued. There is, however, an underlying slow current, a nice batch of ideas, and a pleasant flow to the songs. Pair that with a vocal delivery that, at times, goes wailing heavy-metal style, it's a curious and enjoyable mix, even though the vocals don't sit too well with me personally. A detail that one, though.

Expecting more of the same (read: interesting), I was totally underwhelmed with Paean. Going by the description, it should have been a mix of prog and death metal. It probably was too. What started out as an airy instrumental, slowly got more technical and soon ended up being just plain death metal to my ears, a thing I'm "not entirely fond of," if I'm to smooth out the phrase. Nothing personal, but spare me the vocals and I might enjoy the thing that was coming off the stage. There's an underlying layer of constant change beneath all the violence that sounds promising and appealing but is totally killed off by one man abusing the microphone. I'm sure quite many of you would totally enjoy it, though.

After what I consider a cool-down, Vulture Industries were very welcome on stage. It was what we all were there for. Admittedly, there were not all that many of us which was somewhat weird for a Friday night. However, to be fair, the crowd wasn't that much smaller than when Vulture Industries were supporting Leprous, or when Leprous were playing, for that matter. So, all things considered, people were present and that seemed enough to have fun. As Øyvind Madsen, the guitarist, said to me after the gig "It appears we don't need Leprous to be able to play here." Spot on, that one.

It's kind of hard to describe a Vulture Industries gig. What I said in the introduction stands. The band seems possessed on stage. Their performance is driven and theatrical. The music warrants that. They know it. The audience know it. The band deliver an expressive show, hopping and clowning around the stage barefoot, a show that leaves the singer breathless and gasping. Nothing tells you that the band is going flat out than them being breathless as if having run a 100-meter sprint a couple of times over.

Having already seen the band once, their antics didn't come as a surprise. It was more a case of recognising what they had done before. Singer pulling faces and looking possessed like Jack Nicholson on a Shining poster? Check. Barefoot? Check. Biting guitarist's leg? Check. Coming down into the crowd and doing a dance through the hall with a tail of people following? Check. Appearing spooky with the lamp shining in the face? Uh, well no, they didn't do that this time. Travelling light it seems, which is a bit of a shame. As some of the photos from some other gigs seem to indicate, there's so much more they sometimes appear to be doing that it makes you think they aren't crazy enough just this time around, not this time and not for you.

Set list:
1. The Tower (The Tower)
2. Divine - Appalling (The Tower)
3. Crowning The Cycle (The Malefactor's Bloody Register)
4. The Pulse Of Bliss (The Tower)
5. The Hound (The Tower)
6. I Hung My Heart On Harrow Square (The Malefactor's Bloody Register)
7. Blood Don't Eliogabalus (The Tower)
8. Lost Among Liars (The Tower)
9. Pills Of Conformity (The Dystopia Journals)
10. A Path Of Infamy (The Dystopia Journals)

As it happened, The Tower was released about a week after the band were here the previous time. As it also happens, they haven't produced any new material in between the two gigs. Which is all swell and all, especially since they said the new stuff is slowly being worked on. However, this does mean that a fair share of the same songs were played all over again and, as a result, and this being the full show too, it felt like an extended version of their previous appearance. By no means was it bad. Far from it; it was bloody fantastic! But it felt somewhat like watching an action movie after having seen the trailer with all the explosions and whatnot; all the good bits you already know about, the rest just fills in the gaps.

So, what am I getting at? Listen, Vulture Industries, it was an awesome show. It really was. But when you raise the bar high, you better jump over it, not just equal the result. I'm expecting lunacy with a twist, and I'm lacking the twist, the surprise as it were. Other than that, splendid job. I take a bow to thee.

Bjørnar Erevik Nilsen


Written on 16.02.2015 by I shoot people.

Sometimes, I also write about it.

And one day I'm going to start a band. We're going to be playing pun-rock.


Comments: 4   Visited by: 46 users
16.02.2015 - 15:35
High Fist Prog
I wish I could see Vulture...
17.02.2015 - 15:17
Written by LeKiwi on 16.02.2015 at 15:35

I wish I could see Vulture...

I find this one amusing. Usually it's the other way around, that I, located in Estonia, am envious of most of the Western Europe that gets all the tours of bands I'd love to see. Not that I don't feel for you, mate, the band is great live.

No friends for playing games
No foes who scorn my name
Computerized machines of steel and rust
No friends in my house on Mars
No foes in my house on Mars
I was born in my house on Mars
I will die in my house on Mars
-- Ayreon - My House on Mars
17.02.2015 - 15:24
High Fist Prog
Written by Ivor on 17.02.2015 at 15:17

I find this one amusing. Usually it's the other way around, that I, located in Estonia, am envious of most of the Western Europe that gets all the tours of bands I'd love to see. Not that I don't feel for you, mate, the band is great live.

Yeah, I understand that. I spent most of my life in a country largely devoid of metal, so I've become...greedy
18.02.2015 - 10:51
When I saw them live, while playing Hangman's Hatch, the singer put a noose around his neck and threw the rope in the public. The dumbasses nearly pulled him off the stage by the neck. Was a great show! Can't wait to see them again this summer.

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