I finally managed spend some time listening to BLACK VIPER‘s debut album. This heavy / speed metal band from Oslo, Norway was founded back in 2012 and on 2016 they have released their “Storming With Vengeance” demo. Their debut came out on September of 2018. First in digital format and soon after the CD and cassette editions followed. Well it seems a little strange to me taking notice of bands releasing cassettes in 2018 – 2019 but OK I can understand the hype. And sometimes it is such hype that forces some band to play specific kinds of music – metal music – as well. And I wonder if this is the case with BLACK VIPER.
Their heavy/speed metal transforms me straightly on the mid 80s, California when a band called AGENT STEEL was exploring the specific genre, delivering some classics. and I mention AGENT STEEL because they are one of the main influences for BLACK VIPER. And I am pretty sure that Salvador Armijo has studied quite extensively the way that John Cyris placed his high pitched screams prior to the main riffing of some AGENT STEEL key tracks. He is doing it exactly the same way introducing almost every main part on BLACK VIPER‘s songs, and he is doing it good.
Oh by the way, lots of ultra technical riffing in here that also bring into my mind, my favorite FLOTSAM AND JETSAM “Domesday For The Deceiver” debut. It seems that Viper has absolutely no problem to deliver and combine together some excellent guitar parts like they are doing on the 10 minutes long “Quest for Power / The Fountain of Might” song for example.
So… Great guitar work, high pitched intro scream – so OK we got a singer that can deliver the goods-, the rhythm section is already hammering and I have already started to get prepared for some amazing vocal melodies that would take the songs – and the listener – sky high and yes I found them in many of the viper’s songs.
Ok I was able to discover some thrash-y cliche vocal pats -especially on the choruses- but those parts are not the usual stuff in here. OK BLACK VIPER carry many thrash metal elements on their overall sound but to my ears they are getting closer to the heavy/speed metal universe. I would not consider them as a pure Thrash band.
All in all we got a very powerful release in here. The best feature in this release is the amazing guitar work that has been done. Both on the parts of the ultra technical -almost out of this world- but still hammering, riffing but on the solos as well. and yes at the end of the day I worshiped the extremely sky high vocal screams on almost every BLACK VIPER intro.
The production is also very good and justify the album’s material.
So if you are after some good heavy/speed metal check out BLACK VIPER. They got lots to offer. And we sure are keeping to eye on them for future releases.