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Swamped under better speed metal releases - 59%

Lane, May 10th, 2012

German was bubbling with speed metal bands in mid-80s. Vectom released two albums around that time. 'Rules of Mystery' is their last one and also the only one I've heard.

After a short, stupid intro, 'Prisoner's Attack' opens the album in a bloody nice way. It's pure German speed metal in its commonness, but especially that great guitar melody steals the show, making the song very memorable. Next two songs with their familiar riffs aren't as catchy, but again, the lead guitar work is well executed and that lifts the songs up from gray mass. However, 'Metallic War' is the first song, where unskilled vocalist begins to really annoy quite a bit, as he sounds like out of key, but maybe the fact is that vocal melodies are simply shite. A-side closer 'Why Am I Live' with its thrashed-up glam rock song chorus is just that gray mass material. B-side starts with more ass kicking thrasher 'Outlaw', and once again I must point out good lead guitar work. 'Feelings of Freedom' starts building up weirder rhythms, but soon the thrash begins and goes into punk territory, too. Okay, it's a varying song, but not really very coherent. Instrumental 'Caught by Insanity' a good one, bringing some action back to the dulled atmosphere. 'Elixir of Death' with its dark atmosphere created together with some samples is the second best song on the album (not sure about the titles, as they seem to be in wrong order on vinyl and this song is missing on back cover track listing). 'Evil Run' is a straight thrasher, and not a bad one either. 'This / Is / the / End' is a funny outro.

The vocals... When aggressive, they're okay, but clean singing is quite shite, at times very shite. I do not like the vocalist's nasal voices he makes when trying to sing cleanly and higher. Speed metal Vince Neil, eh?! Pretty much, I'm afraid. But, his pronunciation is good. The production is clean. Bass is loud compared to some lead guitars, that are left under everything else. Definitely not the most biting specimen of speed metal mayhem, this. Still, the rhythm section pounds enough.

The fact is, that proper opener 'Prisoner's Attack' is a very fine song, next two good ones and then it's pretty much downhill until 'Caught by Insanity' and fine 'Elixir of Death', so about half of the songs are infamous gray mass, the rest are good enough speed metal. If you're a speed metal maniac, try this, just for 'Prisoner's Attack' (or 'Prisoner's Back' as it reads on the back cover) alone. Just do not expect anything mind-blowing. Suitable music for beer drinking sessions.

(originally written for ArchaicMetallurgy.com in 2006)