|Review: Vultures Vengeance - The Knightlore|
Label: Gates of Hell Records
Year released: 2019
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: August 5, 2019
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
This is an album that snuck up on me, because the first time I spun it I was not that impressed, but there's a lot of complexity here, so it takes a few listens to really start appreciating it. The unique thing about Vultures Vengeance is how many different influences they pull in and blend together to make a sound that seems familiar, but is almost impossible to pin down. They have integrated their influences so completely that they have become their own thing.
An obvious base is classic-era Maiden, but they also incorporate some Manowar, a bit of Cirith Ungol and Manilla Road, some Liege Lord and Helstar—basically an encyclopedia of classic Traditional Metal bands mixed in with a distinctive Hellenic sound familiar from bands like Battle Ram and Wotan. They play epic but not slow, have a great deal of complexity but are not proggy in the least. Vocalist Tony Steele takes a bit of getting used to, as he has a higher-pitched, rough, almost strained-sounding voice that kind of reminds me of Hansi Kursch, but really he sounds like himself. He suits the music very well, and the mix puts him a bit back from the front position, so the quality of his voice really evokes that '80s style of vocal recording.
This is a really strong album, and it gives me great hopes for this band in the future. If there is a flaw to this, it's that none of the songs are really, immediately memorable, and none of them are built around really rock-solid hooks. The hooks are there, but the songs all contain so many parts that none of them really get leaned into. I don't want this band to dumb down their music, but maybe polish up the songwriting a bit and don't throw everything in. Still, an enormously entertaining feast for the fan of classic Traditional Metal, and a band that could become something really special.
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