Germany’s take on Speed and thrash metal doesn’t need any introduction. The expertise of the German musicians in the heavy metal genre started in the early period of 80’s and extended globally. Bands like Accept, Blind Guardian, Kreator, and Sodom have defined this genre as they played a big role in modifying the German underground metal scene to the best. These bands reached to their peak in the mid 1980’s when they brought in the solid aggression and speed to metal music. There are tons and tons of the best-selling heavy and speed metal records from bands like Accept and they’re 80’s classic albums Restless and Wild, Balls to the Wall and Metal Heart. While in the other hand the German Thrash metal bands such as Kreator stirred the underground thrash metal scene with their classic albums like Pleasure to Kill, Terrible Certainty and the list goes on.
In the mid 80’s Kreator possessed and extraordinary style of aggression and fast tempos. Not to forget the German thrash metal gods Sodom, who have joined the elements of black metal to their music. It was only a matter of time for other bands to develop this style of thrash metal into one of the best extreme genre of metal. Bands of our current time still carry the sentimental flame in their hearts, there are many new waves of the German thrash/speed metal bands nowadays. But this review strictly highlights on the second output by the German speed/thrash metal revivalist. This band is Vulture, who seems to be highly influenced by the days of yore. And their second album entitled Ghastly Waves & Battered Graves, is one of the albums that you shouldn’t miss. The first album Guillotine, which was dosed with the classic vibes of 80’s metal in general was a standard album by these Germans. The musical influences was expanded and inspired by many bands such as Razor, Exciter, Exodus, Slayer and even Kreator.
Having a two year gap between the first and the second record appeared to be quite refreshing for these speed metal maniacs. Ghastly Waves & Battered Graves has a similar aspect to Guillotine, only this time Vulture settled around the genre of speed and thrash metal without showing enough authenticity. Within the two years of time the German quintet has achieved a certain expertise where they carried on in exploring their sound. The first track Fed to Sharks begins with solo drumming and violent guitar riffs. Perhaps a good way to heat up the engines. Once the high pitched vocal reverbs, Vulture takes you into a rollercoaster ride full of amusements and speed. As in whole Ghastly Waves & Battered Graves forges a bridge between heavy metal and speed metal.
Production wise the album has a good sound production allowing you to hear multiple of solos and maniacal guitar riffing. But if you think Vulture are only focusing on speed metal then wait until you hear the second track The Garotte. When the guitar harmonies are introduced in Iron Maiden style and the high pitched screams which are akin to Mercyful Fate.
The band also shows a great skill in soloing. The album is a pile of uncountable riffs driven by a systematic formula. B.T.B (Beyond the Blade), displays the heavy riffs of speed metal, the dual guitars are brilliantly coordinated as you can literally feel the energy. The solos are sequentially arrayed which shows us the skills in songwriting. Loud shrilling and harsh vocals style, which are akin to Exodus, spread throughout the album title track.
Ghastly Waves & Battered Graves is a thrash/speed metal which also expands towards the frontiers of heavy metal. Striking with fiery riffs and melodic solos which highly turns the effect of the song. For more straightforward riffs, Dewer’s Hollow is a solid rocking song added by the aggressive atonal guitars. The shuffling vibes of Iron Maiden and Judas Priest are rearranged by Teutonic reverbs of thrash metal. The only thing that the band has missed is the repetitious tone and the lack of variety. Stainless Glare is a blistering thrash metal track which is also tied to a unstoppable wave of melodies.
Truth is, I was kind of skeptic about this record, but Vulture seem to have some tricks where they introduce them during the runtime. The closing track Murderous Militia is unrelentingly powerful and has the same elements which are repeated on the previous tracks. The album also includes a bonus track of a Thin Lizzy cover song “Killer on The Loose”. Ghastly Waves & Battered Graves is a pure speed metal album as there is a solid improvement in the musical talent.
Release Date: June 7th, 2019
Label: Metal Blade Records
- Fed to Sharks
- The Garotte
- B.T.B. (Beyond The Blade)
- Ghastly Waves & Battered Graves
- Dewer’s Hollow
- Stainless Glare
- Murderous Militia
- Killer on the Loose (Thin Lizzy cover)