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Outstanding - 100%

cowman54, January 4th, 2014

I first stumbled on to Vektor when I was browsing through youtube looking for new bands. Thank God I found them, because this is one of the greatest albums I've ever heard. Vektor manages to weave an onslaught of progressive thrash riffs and unique blast beats with sic-fi lyrics that belong in a Star Wars movie. "Outer Isolation" thematically illustrates the story of a man lost in space, with nothing to but think about life and reflect on the cosmos that surround him. Seems boring, right? Think again. The eight face-ripping tracks on this sci-fi thrash ballad rip apart any notion of generic thrash, a cliche sci-fi plot, or any elongated progressive metal solos that would bore a listener. No. Vektor recreates all of that, and blends it all into a chamber pot to create something completely new. Unlike it's predecessor "Black Future", "Outer Isolation" also has slower, more symphonic passages that keep the listener engaged (not to say that "Black Future" wasn't also awesome). The instrumental passage on "Tetrastructural Minds", for example, counter balances the speeding riff monster that is the rest of the song, that keeps things fresh. Another example is the introduction on "Venus Project".

Another great thing about Vektor is DiSantos vocal power. His voice is reminiscent of the late Chuck Schuldiner. However, his blackened death metal vocals make the Vektor an especially unique thrash band. It sets them apart from many other great new wave thrash bands such as Havok, Warbringer, Lich King, and Evile. The eight bone shattering tracks include "Cosmic Cortex", "Echoless Chamber", "Dying World", "Tetrastructural Minds", "Venus Project", "Dark Creations, Dead Creators", "Fast Paced Society", and the stunning title track, which together make a 52 minute masterpiece. The guitar work is great as well. Erik Nelson delivers fast riffs with progressive elements that keep the listener interested, and also manages to display his potential in slower passages. And DiSantos rhythm guitar work is fantastic as well. The two parts weave together like dueling dragons from outer space. They space being the bass parts of Frank Chin, that are like a melodic ocean that the rest of the music swims in. The bass here is essential to the album. And I don't even have to mention the drums. Blake Anderson does an incredible job using technical death blast beats and infusing them with thrash metal. It works. They all break at the right times, they change tempo in sync, it's just beautifully done. The album is honestly perfect. I can't think of anything I would change. The production is also just as it should be; not overproduced, but it's certainly not a black metal demo that some teenager made in a basement. It's a balanced recording that sounds great, but doesn't let go of the human (or in this case alien) element that makes the album relatable. The technical skill of the musicians is also complimented by the intelligent lyrics, that actually included one or two words that I had to look up.

If I could, I'd rate the album higher than 100 because it exceeds all standards and abstractions of what an album is. I look forward to Vektors next album, and everything else that their long career has in store for them.