Rating:
9.2
Vulture Industries - The Tower
27 September 2013


01. The Tower
02. Divine - Appalling
03. The Hound
04. Blood On The Trail
05. The Dead Won't Mind
06. A Knife Between Us
07. The Pulse Of Bliss
08. Sleepwalkers
09. Lost Among Liars
10. Blood Don't Eliogabalus [bonus]


As it stands, The Tower is a remarkably listenable record for the avant-garde genre. One shouldn't expect Unexpect levels of what some may describe as borderline incoherent music, instead this has a more accessible and immediately satisfying sound. If you hold any reservations for the complex nature of the genre Vulture Industries offer a uniquely charismatic entry point.

That's not to say it lacks the same ambition for experimentation, as an abundance of unique and fresh ideas are often expressed within the creatively dynamic track list. Instead this approach has been held in check to make what is a smoothly constructed effort and is one that removes all ailments that beleaguered the band on previous efforts. As a result The Tower finds itself in a particularly advantageous position characterised by ease of access; it's a successful attempt to bring their sound to the attention of a broader range of musical tastes. Oddly enough, even with all its jagged avant-garde character, it's the kind of album that has an immediate and alluring pull that just keeps on rewarding upon repeated visits.

Listening to these new sounds from Vulture Industries is an experience bound to give you vertigo as the view from The Tower's highest of heights can be dizzying. They've constructed their third studio monument with a new approach in mind; creatively blending their avant-garde tendencies within a more conventional progressive style of delivery. I find it similar to Leprous in this way and it's bursting at the walls with a similar sense of theatricality, although Vulture Industries has a particular fondness for the sounds of saxophone adding a bit of smoothness to the avant-garde flow which so often runs a ragged texture. Here they are used to best effect as they are combined with the upward climb of guitars in the title track and as a real mood setter in the closer "Lost Among Liars."

Although there are many thought provoking moments, carried especially in the lyrical content, which are thickly layered in strong imagery, Vulture Industries also has the eccentricity which would likely appeal to fans of the work of Devin Townsend as much as Diablo Swing Orchestra. This comes across in the vocals of Bjørnar Nilsen, or the entrepreneur of Vulture Industries as I like to think of him. He has the kind of voice that dominates throughout the album and his performance is loaded with peculiar drama. "The Pulse Of Bliss" is an excellent example of this with its jolly yet insane rhythmic intoxication out of which Nilsen suddenly bursts with the uncontrolled force of a madman with the line "BLOOD UPON STONE!"

While the vocals are centre stage the knotty guitar melodies occupy much attention, such as those of tracks like the distinctive "The Dead Won't Mind" as they can be challenging to unravel when the avant-garde flair is at its most obvious. In some tracks the band moves closer in their alignment with progressive metal, which becomes most apparent in the more direct delivery of "Blood On The Trail" which propels the album onward with eager intent after the languid yet purposeful pace of "The Hound." The experimentation of tracks such as this are the kind that you gradually discover as you return to The Tower's clever instrumentation, as there are guitar lines in "The Hound" which, to my surprise, actually mimic the baying of dogs.

The Tower is a uniquely adventurous and well constructed effort that strikes an excellent balance between challenging instrumentation and consideration of the listener's ease of access. The key to this studio success is in their outstanding performance.

Performance: 10
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Production: 8


Band profile: Vulture Industries
Album: The Tower


 



Written on 21.10.2013 by
R'Vannith
R'Vannith enjoys music, he's hoping you do too.
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mz - 21.10.2013 at 10:58  
I have this album but never played it. Should make this mistake up apparently.
tnx for revew
haladflire65 - 21.10.2013 at 11:09  
I've always been a bit intimidated by avant-garde but I listened to the title track and I found myself enjoying it a lot, so I shall check out the rest of the album now - thank you for the review!
Monolithic - 21.10.2013 at 14:39  
I think it will also sound appealing to Dissona fans.
Apothecary - 21.10.2013 at 16:53  
I've heard good things about this band, and you comparing them to Devy and DSO definitely piques my interest. Will be giving this a peek, good review man
Ivor - 21.10.2013 at 17:02  
Saw them supporting Leprous. That was brilliant, really. And the album is indeed a great thing, though not sure it's Devy-like thing.

I.
!J.O.O.E.! - 21.10.2013 at 17:05  
Just listened to a track. Sounds very different from their other side. Sounded rather good.
blackmamba - 22.10.2013 at 04:23  
Good album, but the vocalist sounds like a Garm rip off. I don't like that.
Korah - 23.10.2013 at 02:04  
Great album! I didn't know the band and I would say it's Circus Metal sometimes
R'Vannith - 23.10.2013 at 02:54  
Thanks for reading folks, and for those who checked it out and enjoyed you're welcome!
Written by Monolithic on 21.10.2013 at 14:39

I think it will also sound appealing to Dissona fans.

I hadn't thought of that, but now that you mention it I think so too.
Written by Ivor on 21.10.2013 at 17:02

Saw them supporting Leprous. That was brilliant, really. And the album is indeed a great thing, though not sure it's Devy-like thing.

I.

The Devy comparison has more to do with the eccentric nature of this than anything else, though they're aren't as ridiculous or openly humorous like Townsend.
Written by blackmamba on 22.10.2013 at 04:23

Good album, but the vocalist sounds like a Garm rip off. I don't like that.

That comes from the Arcturus influence, which is all but gone on this, aside from those vocals yes.
Written by Korah on 23.10.2013 at 02:04

Great album! I didn't know the band and I would say it's Circus Metal sometimes

I often get this too, or something like cabaret theatre metal!
TheBloodyNine - 27.10.2013 at 03:04  
I love this album. Seems quite Faith No More influenced to me. One of my favorites of the year so far.
Marikanator - 28.10.2013 at 13:26  
Saw them warm up for Leprous a while back, they are incredibly.... interesting :p
they earned a new fan in me that night for sure
Marcel Hubregtse - 06.11.2013 at 17:17  
This band suffers from the same disease as Diablo Swing Orchestra and gets worse with every subsequent release.
Apothecary - 10.11.2013 at 06:07  
After listening, I have to say I'm really enjoying this. As you say, it's accessible enough to not come across as sloppy and inconsistent, but it also retains its quirkiness, which is exactly how I prefer my avant garde to be. Great stuff man, thanks for the review
wintress - 11.11.2013 at 03:12  
Amazing album. I'll be honest, I only listened to it because the artwork intrigued me but I have to say, I love the vocals and mood of this record.

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