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Vulture Industries - "The Malefactor's Bloody Register" (CD)

Vulture Industries - "The Malefactor's Bloody Register" CD cover image

"The Malefactor's Bloody Register" track listing:

1. Crooks & Sinners
2. Race for the Gallows
3. The Hangman s Hatch
4. The Bolted Door
5. This Cursed Flesh
6. I Hung My Heart on Harrow Square
7. Crowning The Cycle
8. Of Branded Blood

Reviewed by on April 15, 2011

"Found on the band's second full-length album are songs that blend gloomy progressive rock with speedy technical jams, dramatic vocals, and small injections of black metal."

Norway's black metal supergroup Vulture Industries is a band with a unique name, unique album title in "The Malefactor's Bloody Register," and most importantly of all - a vastly unique sound. Found on the band's second full-length album are songs that blend gloomy progressive rock with speedy technical jams, dramatic vocals, and small injections of black metal. Featuring eight intense and imaginative tracks, "The Malefactor's Bloody Register" is an album the commands the full attention of anyone that dares to listen and takes that listener on one wild and unrelenting ride.

With the perfect, short instrumental "Crooks and Sinners" leading off the album things immediately start on a high note. Clocking in, tragically, at under a minute in length "Crooks and Sinners" is built around mellotrons and synthesizers that dance and weave with one another, creating an eerie atmosphere to begin such an odd yet pleasant album. The instrumental ties right in with the following track "Race for the Gallows," which is also another fantastic composition that demonstrates every strength of the band. The overall musical style of Vulture Industries is extremely hard to identify but with "Race for the Gallows," one of the album's more straight-forward tracks, the band displays a knack for creativity that many bands in today's progressive scene are severely lacking.

"Hangman's Hatch" - complete with gang-chant vocals, saxophone passages, and its narrative storytelling nature - is another strong track that is simply incredible. The band's ability of proper composition is on full display, being able to merge so many different textures into one cohesive sound without ever straying too far into left field. The glue that holds vibrant songs such as "Hangman's Hatch" and "I Hung My Heart on Harrow Square" together is the guitar work that switches constantly. The jumping between catchy riff-oriented prog rock to immensely technical sections keeps the listener on their toes, and anxiously awaiting where the album is going to go next.

In all honesty, there isn't a single stand out track on "The Malefactor's Bloody Register." When an album is as good as this one is, every song provides an equally exciting experience that reveals new layers of musical genius with each and every spin. Incredible vocals, keyboards, violins, saxophones, cellos, and acoustics tie in perfectly with the band's fusion of progressive and black metal. There is also not one negative aspect to focus on with this record, as everything is done to absolute perfection. The production quality is beyond impressive and everything relating to the songs themselves is something worthy of praise. Having an undeniably unique sound that blends many separate styles without seeming like a mutant hybrid, Vulture Industries bring to the table an entirely new and fresh album. If only more bands, especially those in the progressive vein, cared enough about their music to create something as risky and adventurous as "The Malefector's Bloody Register."

Highs: "The Malefector's Bloody Register" is one of the most unique and dynamic records released in years.

Lows: A few more instances of the band's black metal vocals would have been nice.

Bottom line: Incredible progressive metal that effortlessly combines the different sounds of Type O Negative, Mayhem, and Meshuggah in a way to call its own.

Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls
4.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)