Album Review: VULTURE INDUSTRIES Stranger Times

Album Review: VULTURE INDUSTRIES Stranger Times

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So this is a weird one. Like, an exceptionally weird one, especially for Season of Mist. A record influenced by folks like Faith No More just as much as Mayhem this is the sort of “out there” release that can’t help but to fascinate. Filled with over the top Satanism, powerful hooks and endless pushes towards a darker future, Vulture Industries have refined something devastating with Stranger Times. This is an album that is unafraid to break the rules, to push towards new ideas and to constantly remind us of the infinite directions black metal can go. I think on top of that, the sheer talent of the artists helps to make even their poppiest moments strangely endearing. These guys swoop forward with arena rock guitars but a strangely creepy aesthetic. They obviously predate Ghost, but perhaps the most obvious comparison would be the masked band. They have the same uneasy majesty about them, the twisted lyrics and the fitting reminders of our own fragility, even in a world that we feel we might have finally won control over.

The powerful progressive vibes that adorn this record only serve to couch it deeper in its wonderfully weird black metal culture. The underground scene out in Bergen is often strange, it’s a place that’s been a bit cut off from the rest of the world geographically, and that eight hour car ride to Oslo means that their scenes music has been given a lot of time to gestate and produce its own wonderfully bizarre things. This is the sort of band who push with relatively conventional sounding songwriting but who are able to clearly show the influence of countless underground bands. In some ways Stranger Times is reminiscent of something like Mr Bungle‘s California, inasmuch as it has that same polish as well as the latent madness that makes those records so exciting. It’s easy to get lost in the progressive beauty of what Vulture Industries have crafted here, it’s an album that is weirdly transcendent and beautiful and yet simultaneously somehow causes me grave concern. It taps into the psyche in a way I’m not totally comfortable with.

The inherent magic of Vulture Industries becomes obvious when you see how matter-of-factly they wind their way into your soul. They have captured the burning power of this scene and turned its weirdness into their greatest tool. It makes Stranger Times an incredibly rewarding listen with all sorts of musical references and a unique ability to balance King Diamond against The Cult. There is a guiding line throughout this record that makes it strangely transcendent and which reminds us time and time again that Vulture Industries is more than just another blackened rock band, they are a group who are forcing us all to expand our definition of what this music can be. In a world where so much music is boring and predictable it’s an incredible blessing to have albums that make us really ask questions and demand something of the listener, Vulture Industries latest offering does exactly that and I love it.

Score: 8/10

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September 26, 2017 at 08:22PM

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