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Vulture - The Guillotine album review

The course of bonkers, west German speed metal runs deep

Cover art for Vulture - The Guillotine album

Harking back to a more innocent time – before the technology existed to ascertain that there were 10 other bands called Vulture – this German quartet are the latest gang of bumfluffed youths to hotwire Doc’s DeLorean and jump back to 1985 to crash the thrash underground. Vulture hail from Germany’s North Rhine-Westphalia region, which had quite an 80s pedigree in pushing boundaries between speed, thrash, power and heavy metal with loopy, studded-leather conviction: Grave Digger, Blind Guardian, Living Death, Rage, Angel Dust and Holy Moses all burst out of the area 10 years before these kids were born, yet Vulture would fit perfectly onto that hypothetical bill, inheritors of a noble tradition. The ripping harmonies, chainsaw riffs and frantic solos all hit the spot, but L Steeler’s rasping vocals elevate Vulture above the herd, holding a tune while apparently losing his mind.

Chris has been writing about heavy metal since 2000, specialising in true/cult/epic/power/trad/NWOBHM and doom metal at now-defunct extreme music magazine Terrorizer. Since joining the Metal Hammer famileh in 2010 he developed a parallel career in kids' TV, winning a Writer's Guild of Great Britain Award for BBC1 series Little Howard's Big Question as well as writing episodes of Danger Mouse, Horrible Histories, Dennis & Gnasher Unleashed and The Furchester Hotel. His hobbies include drumming (slowly), exploring ancient woodland and watching ancient sitcoms.