I was always fond of the Italian metal scene. Not only it gave us some really cool metal acts, but most of them have a genuine goofiness in their sound that makes them more authentic than their polished, prim Swedish colleagues. And out of this scene, VULTURES VENGEANCE emerged a couple of years ago.
The band has been active for quite a while, releasing two EPs which I haven’t heard and this is their first full-length album. And frankly should the listener look beyond the ridicule of the band’s aesthetic, he could discover a really good and interesting album.
The band obviously plays classic metal with exclusively 80’s influences flavoring them this some epic melodies and a moody obscure atmosphere. The album kicks off with “A Great Spark from The Dark” a surprisingly awesome tune that could have easily been composed 30 years ago. Then the band dwells more and more into the depths of the 80’s obscure depths with songs like “A Pathfinder’s Call”, “The Knighthood”, “The Lord of The Key” or “Chained to The Night” being statements of prolific songwriting and stellar performances. And while I usually begrudge with such obscene 80’s imitations, I was quickly carried away to the misty realms of VULTURES VENGEANCE.
Should I search for more obvious influences, I would have to mention bands like early IRON MAIDEN, CIRITH UNGOL, MANILLA ROAD, and CLOVEN HOOF as well as more forgotten heroes like (my beloved) CUTTY SARK, CHAINSAW, DARK QUARTERER or very, very, very early BLIND GUARDIAN. There is an ongoing moodiness in the sound that actually works very well with the lengthy compositions. Yes, you read right, most of the songs last six minutes or so, yet they do manage to keep the listener’s interest with their interesting riffing and the somehow distant vocals that create a harsh medieval scenery.
To sum it up, I would say that this record was quite a surprise for me. I am not usually impressed by the retro bands, not because I underestimate their value, but I think (and stated to many times) that somehow most of them deal with the ’80s as if it is some kind of fetish. Yet V.V. has an outlandish charm that it is not easy to pass by. Definitely, a “must listen to” album (and buy of course)!