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Album Review 1: Vektor - Outer Isolation - 92%

THTPOOPBEDROOPN, November 27th, 2011

I think it's fair to say, 'Outer Isolation' is one of, if not the best, thrash album of 2011. Joining the likes of Megadeth, Anthrax, Onslaught and Toxic Holocaust, are Arizona's Vektor.

Vektor's latest release, 'Black Future', created quite a stir in the metal world. With such an amazing combination of black metal and thrash metal, it had a lot of spacey themes which is all backed up with a lot of technical prowess. Definitely not an easy album to follow-up on, and Vektor had a lot of work to do if they did not want to sound tasteless and stale on this new album.

'Outer Isolation' contains some very noticeable changes. In brief, Vektor have created a typically classic thrash metal album, without repeating themselves all too much. This album defines Vektor's style as a melodic, dynamic, very focused and straight forward brand of thrash metal. One of the issues with 'Black Future', is that it did not contain much variety between songs. Fortunately, such issues do not appear on this album.

What makes this album different from previous releases, is the increase of slower and melodic passages. These parts defnitely show more focus, and sound like they have more purpose in the songs, and make for a much more interesting listen. The softer parts sometimes steal the show, however, with the intro to opening track, 'Cosmic Cortex' lasting for almost three minutes, but these moments are mostly shortlived and cut back to the fast, pounding riffs.

One of the album's highlights, 'Tetrastructural Minds', contains one of the best melodic pieces on the album. The song seems to be going at the speed of light, and then goes slow motion, with a destructively-beautiful melodic guitar solo. Even the faster leads on this song are sounding more melodic. On 'Outer Isolation', Vektor have masterfully worked leads into their verses and choruses, making the songs a lot more tight. 'Outer Isolation' is definitely not the heaviest album this band have ever released, but is one of the more skilled, technical and varied records Vektor have put out.

David Disanto has one of the more unique vocals in metal. His voice in like a black metal-wretch, but is a lot more higher pitched, and his voice definitely sounds more raspy this time around. The crazy, high-pitched screams that you could only sometimes hear on 'Black Future', are very pre-dominant on 'Outer Isolation'. Especially on the track 'Tetrastructural Minds', where Disanto performs screams that seem impossible for any person to emit, let alone from a mature gentleman. Disanto is also very varied in his vocal approach as well, he can be very narrative, and incorporates a few more lower growls into some songs.

Somtimes, the material on 'Outer Isolation' can sound very similar to 'Black Future', but that is a very small complaint, and does not ruin this album's chance of being thrash album of the year. Vektor are one of the best underrated bands in metal, and if they could get the recognition they deserve, they could be cited as one of the best and heaviest bands in modern rock music.