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Vulture Industries
The Dystopia Journals

Company: Dark Essence Records
Release: 2007
Reviewer: Etiam
Genre: Heavy, post, black

  • Memorable, invigorating, and above all comfortable in itself



  • As if Norwegian metal's experimental scene weren't already dynamic enough--'post' is joined with 'black metal' by some without a hint of sarcasm or satire--a new group called Vulture Industries has joined the fray. Highly touted, but by relatively few, the dubiously-named quintet face difficult competition in the likes of Arcturus, Ihsahn, Solefald, Enslaved, et cetera ad infinitum. Indeed, elements of the band are admittedly familiar, with the strongest corollary being Arcturus: quirky interweaving of avant-garde, black metal, jaunty rock, and circus curios through a tuneful tapestry. Too, the vocals of Bjørnar Nilsen are also rather like Garm's in his mid-era, with a bold, almost strident, clean timbre belting out his rambling melodies. But despite the odds, 'The Dystopia Journals' is still unique, and fans of the aforementioned bands will almost assuredly enjoy this debut.

    Of primary importance to this album's success is the balance of the instrumentation and the overall production, which are both exemplary. Walking basslines in the piano complement the gliding violins; the guitar tone balances punchy gain with articulate harmonies; percussion is crisp without being too sibilant; the low end is fuzzy, but still defines notes well. Bjørnar's harsh vocals are relatively infrequent, only making their first appearance on the third song, 'A Path of Infamy', and alternate between lows (that sound almost inhaled) and mid-highs in the vein of V:28. With its mad narrative interlude, heavily phased guitar, and chorus-edged piano, this track invokes Unexpect at times, while its droning bridge, replete with flanging electronics, and closing blues solo are classic Enslaved. As the album progresses, both vocal styles are featured, but, fittingly, Bjørnar's cleans remain dominant as he narrates the protagonist's bizarre odyssey.

    As often occurs with debut albums, Vulture Industries have stacked their best material--memorable melodies, effective structures--towards the beginning, so around 'The Crumbling Realm' (track six) the momentum begins to tail off. Bjørnar's vocal lines and the songwriting in general is more listless, though not from lack of effort, for at no point does this album smack of the slapdash or unprepared--only a tad short on standout material. All in all, the majority of 'The Dystopia Journals' is memorable, invigorating, and above all comfortable in itself. Rather than pushing towards new extremes to make their name in a highly competitive scene, Vulture Industries unearthed an attractive niche in the proverbial middle ground of the experimental and proved it to be both productive and fresh.


    Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
    5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
    4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
    3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
    3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
    2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
    1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
    0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

    Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

    Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

    The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



    ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: VULTURE INDUSTRIES
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    TITLE BAND
    DOR
    REVIEWER DATE
    The Dystopia JournalsVulture Industries
    2007
    Etiam11/7/2008


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