April 1, 2024

One of the flagmen of the new wave of European speed metal (I just came up with the term), Dortmund’s Vulture will release their fourth full length album Sentinels on April 12th, almost three years after their last one. The band’s line-up has been solid since 2017 and the press release states a lot of work with attention to detail has been invested in Sentinels, in contrast to previous recordings. The artwork is once again fantastic, with a strong old school feel and lots of details to decipher.

Screams From The Abattoir is a monstrous speed metal chainsaw and easily the best track on the album. The velocity is crushing, with a whirlwind of guitars demolishing your ears for three and a half minutes. Putting your strongest song at the start is definitely a statement of intent but on the other hand a risk, because the listener could be left disappointed that there isn’t even one more song that is equally strong. Don’t get me wrong though – the rest of the album offers a lot to be enjoyed. Unhallowed & Forgotten is a typical Vulture composition, apart from the chorus, which changes the tempo surprisingly and cannot leave your head for days. Realm Of The Impaler is more mid-tempo, built upon a very strong and punchy rhythm and impressing with some really nice melodic dual guitars and harmonies. Draw Your Blades and Gargoyles are not so catchy, playing it too safe and leaving no lasting impression, but, thankfully, are the only two sub-par tracks. Der Tod Trägt Schwarzes Leder is a very nice surprise, being a beautiful atmospheric song, with melancholic female vocals – a clever interlude in-between the speed metal carnage. Oathbreaker is another heavy-speed tornado, with otherworldly guitars and solos, which the band says is their homage to both the heroes and founders of the style in the late 70s and early 80s.

The closing title track has “early Exodus” stamped all over from the very first riff, stomping with super heavy and sharp guitars, demanding non-stop headbanging. I can imagine the effect it will have on the audience when the guys include it in the set. Once again – top class solos and insane vocals elevate the song as the third big highlight in the album, together with Screams From The Abattoir and Oathbreaker.

Vulture are not taking any risks and are staying true to the style we love them for, but it is obvious that Sentinels is much better than Dealin’ Death and the band is raising the speed, while managing to craft more memorable melodies and choruses. The album is a love letter to 80’s speed metal classics and is meant to put a big smile on every old school fan’s face. Time to strap those bullet belts on.

8/10


Vulture in Facebook

Sentinels will be out on April 12th via Metal Blade and can be pre-ordered from HERE