Neithan : Vulture Industries: still underestimated and underappreciated, which might be caused by the theatrical approach towards rock and metal by the band, so that they cannot be categorized by one safe single label. Unfortunately, many sectarian minded metal/music fans don’t take an interest: too hard for those into gothic rock, too soft for the metal head. A pity, because in 2011 Vulture Industries blew away other pure metal bands on the bill of the Heidens Geweld festival in Eindhoven. ‘The Tower’ is the third album of the outfit around producer/singer Bjørnar Erevik Nilsen (known from many Dark Essence albums as producer) and after two previous albums on the Dark Essence label the band releases this album on the internationally acclaimed Season Of Mist label.
The music has always been described of a mix of the likes of Arcturus, Mr. Bungle, The Cult/Bowie (Nilsen’s style of singing) and both line-up and studio team have been constant since the debut, so do not expect any drastically changes on the new label regarding style. Still, I think that if film director Tim Burton was to make a new movie linked to metal, Vulture Industries would be the band to write the soundtrack. Nevertheless there is change, especially when hearing the accents and the overall feeling of the songs. This new album is more direct, dark and progressive than before. Immediately at the opening and title track it strikes me that the guitars are more prominent in the mix, which gives the music as a whole a more direct approach: “more metal” so to say. The track ‘The Hound’ is a lengthy mesmerizing song which happens to be just some more theatrical and dramatic than the other tracks and lifts it just above the high average level of this album, also because it displays the versatility and class of this band as a whole. The following track ‘Blood On The Trail’ is on the other hand more straight forward than usual, despite the typical VI break in the middle. The album closes with a typical down streaming track (‘Lost Among Liars’). More progressive, better techniques: is it their best album so far? Well, that is hard for someone like me who is into the band for longer: I do miss that contagious dark groove which was more dominant on the first two albums, especially the debut. The songs do not stick to my head that easy this time, which comes forward best in the bonustrack, which is a mix of Vulture Industries ‘Blood Don't Flow Streamlined’ and Devil Doll’s ‘Eliogabalus‘ album (a Slovenian theatrical gothic rock band that released this album in 1990 and of which frontman Bjørnar Nilsen is a big fan). And there is my dilemma as a reviewer: is the more dark progressive stuff better than the old stuff which sticks better to my ears? Nevertheless ‘The Tower’ is an album that will end up in my top ten of the year: musicalwise wonderfully constructed, epic and strong guitar work (yet no solo stuff) and Nilsen songs with heart and soul: the picture is complete once more!
Slightly different than before, but still among the most interesting bands around. Too bad promoters of the bigger festivals go for safe, but this band should really get a chance to perform in front of a big, mixed audience such as FortaRock, Graspop, EMM or even a non-metal festival like Pinkpop, Pukkelpop or Lowlands (maybe combined with Happy]http://www.happygorilla.org/turning-golem-working-title.html]HappyGorilla Dance Company[/url] as a visual extra, like the band does now and then. It is no simple pop metal or music, but most definitely not hard to follow progressive music like with so many other progressive bands. The drive of the song remains the focus, always. And so, ‘The Tower’ sticks out way above most other releases.