Vulture – Dealin’ Death (Album Review)

Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr +

Horror tropes delivered with kinetic precision.

The thrash metal revival often dubbed the NWOTM has been chugging along for almost 20 years now, and is still showing zero signs of slowing. Never one to miss an opportunity to hedge their bets, Metal Blade Records took on a real flamboyant player in the aforementioned scene when they scooped up the German speed/thrashing quintet Vulture from the clutches of the smaller but highly prolific High Roller Records. While a certified powerhouse outfit from their inception with a respectable showing prior to their current label, this quintet’s new affiliation paid some fairly impressive dividends on their 2019 sophomore LP “Ghastly Waves And Battered Graves”, as a sound defined by infectious hooks and high octane mayhem was tempered with a more involved and expansive approach to songwriting that bridged the gap between their earlier 80s speed metal influences and the more advanced approach taken by the Teutonic thrash metal scene in the latter part of the same decade.

Per the band’s own testimony, they had not intended for their previous album to take on such an elaborate character, and while continuing to be proud of what they had accomplished, sought out a more straightforward brand of mad thrashing fun on “Dealin’ Death,” their third and most recent studio effort. Drawing from a series of familiar horror and mythological tropes such as medusa, demonic activity, the slightly more mundane avenue of paranoia leading to psychosis, and even a nod to Edgar Allen Poe’s The Pit And The Pendulum, which also inspired the album’s brilliantly crafted cover art, this is an opus that places an emphasis on shorter to moderate length bangers with punchy riffs and unforgettable chorus segments. It’s a set of ten fits of metallic fury that fit in comfortably with the exploits of fellow newer thrash outfits such as Belgium’s Evil Invaders and Sweden’s Antichrist, but has that vintage 80s zeal and melodic splendor reminiscent of Agent Steel, Razor and Exciter.

The presentation delivered here has all of the elements of an 80s cinematic affair, right down to the atmospheric creepiness that was all the rage at that time. The opening prelude “Danger Is Imminent” rides a haunting acoustic line and incorporates an array of spooky synthesizer sounds, culminating in what could be dubbed the band’s own slasher flick theme after the spirit of Friday The 13th and A Nightmare On Elm Street. Following this sub-1 minute introduction, the high-flying chaos commences with a vintage speed metal romp in “Malicious Souls” that tears the listener limb from limb between the flashy technical guitar flourishes and front man L. Steeler’s glass-shattering shrieks and gritty mutterings. The aforementioned deranged speed thrasher is by no means alone, as the equally fast and more Annihilator inspired busyness of “Count Your Blessings” and the driving fury of “Flee The Phantom” nearly break the speedometer and deliver the riffs like it’s going out of style.

While the basic tone and tenor of this album seems to be an obsession with cracking the sound barrier and throwing in a powerful refrain wherever possible, this album isn’t without a sense of nuance and contrast. Among the more involved and longer running offerings of the bunch, the demon-obsessed “Star-Crossed City” pulls things back to more of a moderately fast roar and functions as more of a busy variant on Painkiller-era Judas Priest with a more rugged vocal display, while the heavy-ended crusher “Below The Mausoleum” more of a dissonant, mid-paced heavy metal approach that rests somewhere between the more occult-oriented adherents of the NWOBHM and Mercyful Fate. But the song on here that really stands out from the pack and ends up stealing the show is the dreary ballad turned raging speeder “Multitudes Of Terror”, which almost sounds akin to a twisted homage to Metallica’s “Fade To Black” at its inception, but launches into a colossal thrashing assault and carries it all the way to the finish line.

In essence, these mad Germans have tapped into something that will heavily appeal to those who remember the days when mid-80s speed metal outfits like Exorcist, Nasty Savage and Whiplash were all but outflanking their heavier Bay Area counterparts in the velocity department, and still maintaining a heavy enough bottom end to be distinct from Judas Priest’s and Accept’s occasional forays into similar territory. The rhythm section gets the job done something fierce, and bassist A. Axetinctor particularly showcases some Cliff Burton tendencies to rival the dual guitar assault going on around him. Horror movie junkies, particularly of the retro flavor, will also find a lot to like here as the atmosphere that is regularly established both during the quieter segments and even among the most frenetic ones would make John Carpenter proud. It’s a past-centered yet reasonably innovative take on things that will agree with 80s ears and present day ones alike.

Released Date: May 21st, 2021
Released By: Metal Blade Records
Genre: Thrash Metal


  • A. Axetinctör / Bass
  • S. Castevet / Guitars
  • M. Outlaw / Guitars
  • L. Steeler / Vocals
  • G. Deceiver / Drums

“Dealin’ Death” tracklisting:

  1. Danger Is Imminent
  2. Malicious Souls
  3. Count Your Blessings
  4. Gorgon
  5. Star-Crossed City
  6. Flee the Phantom
  7. Below the Mausoleum
  8. Dealin’ Death
  9. Multitudes of Terror
  10. The Court of Caligula
8.5 Great

One of the fiercer outfits to come raging out of the thrash metal revival in recent years delivers a campy yet refined assortment of speed-infused mayhem with all of the horror stories that one would expect from one of the style’s original mid-80s purveyors.

  • Songwriting 8.5
  • Musicianship 8
  • Originality 9
  • Production 8.5

Comments are closed.

error: This content is copyrighted!