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Vulture - Sentinels review

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Band: Vulture
Album: Sentinels
Style: Speed metal, Thrash metal
Release date: April 2024

01. Screams From The Abattoir
02. Unhallowed & Forgotten
03. Transylvania
04. Realm Of The Impaler
05. Draw Your Blades
06. Where There's A Whip (There Is A Way)
07. Der Tod Trägt Schwarzes Leder
08. Death Row
09. Gargoyles
10. Oathbreaker
11. Sentinels (Heavier Than Time)

A Brit is critical of the Germans, a tale as old as time.

Forget cars and football, if there's something the Germans know how to do, it's thrash metal; from the Teutonic four to the latest wave of speed merchants, the depth of quality in the scene is enduring. Vulture have slowly (figuratively anyway - the band blast by like a car on the Autobahn) been building their reputation up as one of the premier acts of this latest wave of Germanic acts. Their latest offering, Sentinels, is perhaps the group's best yet, with its high-speed action offering something to grab your attention as it whizzes by.

With their foots firmly to the floor, Vulture are seemingly the sonic equivalent of the movie Speed, whereby they cannot let the tempo drop lest a bus somewhere meet an unfortunate end (if you see Keanu Reeves get on a bus, wait for the next one, just in case). Sentinels is unsurprisingly a high-tempo affair, one that does offer the occasional deviation, but sticks to the fast lane for much of its runtime.

The linked "Transylvania" and "Realm Of The Impaler" offer an early highlight on Sentinels; the band demonstrate some variation from constant max speed with the use of transition tracks to great effect; "Der Tod Trägt Schwarzes Leder" (which, if my minimal German is correct, translates to "The Toad's leader is Schwarzenegger")/"Death Row" further shows this to be a strength of the band's, although "Oathbreaker" demonstrates that the band can make standalone tracks work.

While Outlaw and, ergh, Genözider do ensure the guitarwork is enjoyable (though riffs are sacrificed for speed), it is the work of Axetinctör on bass that helps fill out the sound and add dimension to warp speed tracks like "Where There's A Whip (There Is A Way)". Sounding like King Diamond found the effects box, Steeler's vocals are something that does become an annoyance after a while (in my case, by "Draw Your Blades"), particularly due to his insistence on going over-the-top with the wailing and lack of moderation in its modulation. While it does fit Vulture's approach, it does detract from the listening experience when done in anything beyond short bursts.

Sentinels' main drawback is that songwriting is sacrificed for speed, which is an odd thing to say about speed metal, I know. The few times the band slow down (slightly), like on "Where There's A Whip (There Is A Way)", there is decent guitarwork that isn't warped by the need for top speed. More tracks and moments like these (along with taking the effects away from Steeler) would improve the overall experience.

With Sentinels' high-speed race run, it may not take pride of place on the podium, but it makes for a respectable showing at the higher end of the grid. Slowing down into the turns rather than constant foot-to-the-floor action would enable their car to stay on track more often, to the benefit of all involved.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 7
Songwriting: 6
Originality: 5
Production: 8

Written on 07.04.2024 by Just because I don't care doesn't mean I'm not listening.


Comments: 2   Visited by: 12 users
17.04.2024 - 23:13
Nocturnal Bro
Dude! This is coming a bit late, but... congrats on 500 reviews! Crazy! Keep up the witty writing
04.05.2024 - 14:25
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
You forgot to mention that Germans are good at making beer not lager and pilsener, but few other styles. Just saying. This is awesome banger, sad it came out in so strong month.
I stand whit Ukraine and Israel. They have right to defend own citizens.

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''
I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing

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