Saturday, July 7, 2018

Vultur - Entangled in the Webs of Fear (2018)

Don't let the fact that Vultur doesn't fit entirely snug into the general population of the Sevared roster throw you off, this is an immensely brutal band...only brutal by an earlier genre standard than a lot of the more tech Suffocation or Deicide-inspired acts you often hear from that camp. Entangled in the Webs of fear feels like a more muscled alternative to the Floridian death metal once spawned by Death in the 80s, only with a lot more blasting and bulk through the enormous production, and vocals that feel a lot more in the vein of an Incantation, Wombbath or Rottrevore. So they do 'old school', sure, but they do it like a bunch of heavyweights in a grudge match against a much smaller opponent, and that opponent is your fucking skull.

This album sounds huge, with an ominous airiness coming from the speakers that really lets those churning guitars, growls and beats settle in for punishment. No tricks or gimmicks, just a slab of the purest death metal you're like to hear this year, an album that could appeal across several generations of fans. The guitars are a mix of dense chugs and coiled, evil tremolo picked lines that actually make you feel somewhat creeped out in spots, especially when the light, eerie leads break out over the surface. It doesn't sound like it took a whole lot of effort to come up with these riffs, for when you're in the mindset of how to just make something sound evil and aged, a lot of them seem like they'd spring directly to the muscle memory of your palms and fingers, but that's quite alright here because they exude a pummeling, claustrophobic intensity that transcends time. The bass is thick and oozy, and doesn't stick out too much in terms of note choices but just an extra layer of syrup driving home the darkness. Beats are thick bottomed, with nice fills, double bass rolls and effortless blasts where those work.

It should be noted that several members of this group are in another comparable outfit known as Ectoplasma, which isn't terribly different in style, and also has a recent album out called Cavern of Foul Unbeings that you should probably check out if you're into this. I actually liked the Vultur disc a bit more, but it's certainly blunter. Straight to the gut, vile and colorful death metal which bends the imagination way back to when it all felt so fresh and new, even though there is literally nothing new or innovative about a single damn thing they do. Doesn't matter, when it's wrought with such brute sincerity and passion, and even though the songs do grow a little samey throughout, I've had a great time spinning this one on numerous occasions, and highly recommend it if you're a fan of some of the groups I listed above, Spanish bands like Avulsed and Putrevore, or Finns like Purtenance and Slugathor. The cover art by Raul 'Mortuus' Fuentes is also really noteworthy, had this album come out back in '87-88 it's the sort of image that would be considered iconic decades on.

Verdict: Win [8/10] (ghouls and manglers gathered to feast)

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