Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Vektor "Terminal Redux" (2016)

With an epic, intergalactic cover art of lush alien planets and mysterious alien spacecraft deep in the cosmos our tongues are wet in anticipation of an ambitious piece of music set to rival the imaginations the cover inspires alone. Unfortunately the guitar tone and narrow, raspy, grisly vocals took the edge of what is truly a record to remember, a space opera of metallic magnitude. Vektor are an American Thrash Metal band with Progressive elements from Arizona and given there young age could be considered part of the Thrash revival seen in recent years. "Terminal Redux" is their third full length, weighing in at seventy three minutes it is quite a lot to chew and an ambitious piece of art.

Vektor sound like they could of come straight out of the 80s. A true sense of the Thrash spirit exudes from these songs however with twenty years of maturity they take the traits of Thrash guitar work and execute them with an intensity and blinding precious that will have all sorts of rampant shredding taken to new speeds and technicalities, the fast fretwork interwoven with frenetic drumming that takes no moment for granted. These songs move in a constant sense of progression with dense arrangements shuffling in all sorts of directions and occasional turning back on themselves to repeat a theme. Nothing feels out of the ordinary but its execution is remarkable and many riffs push the boundaries with lightning speed and creative use of old techniques. Its quite the drool in awe fest if your a fan of the classic thrash sound.

The album plays to a bigger concept and all the songs tie together. That much is apparent but within the last three or so tracks it really comes together as the record reaches its climax and the music pushes even harder at those boundaries. In these moments the Thrash sound is transcended in spirit as the songs become bigger than themselves. For all that's fantastic I have my gripe with the vocal and guitar tones. Firstly DiSanto's narrow, raspy shouts are a constant turn off that I failed to warm up to. The guitars do admittedly sound fantastic as could be said for the entire production of the record with a near perfect drum sound and tight baseline but I found the tone slightly plastic and flat in the higher ranges. Its actually what gives the guitar tone its charm and there is where I find an understanding of whats not working. There's little emotional connection here, its a finely tuned metal machine pumping out blinding songs but it ends at entertainment. "Terminal Redux" Is a remarkable record on one level but there are only a few moments where I feel any form of deeper connection. Music doesn't always have to hit you on that level to appreciate it.

Favorite Tracks: Charging The Void, LCD, Recharging The Void
Rating: 8/10