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Grip This Rabble-(G)Rouser! - 90%

CHAIRTHROWER, October 23rd, 2017
Written based on this version: 2011, Digital, Tankcrimes

Volture's 2011 Rulebreaker single, released digitally as well as on vinyl under Tankcrimes Records and featuring a sick cover of Gotham City's "Killer Angels" as the B-Side, is prerequisite listening for fans of this "hard-driving" and riveting Richmond, Virginia quintet as it encompasses the best of both past and present line-ups: its original front man Brent Hubbard (who took the reigns on the formidable Shocking Its Prey EP released the same year but was eventually replaced by Jack Bauer of Tengwar) and the highly competitive tag team guitar duo consisting of founding shredder Nick Poulos - still active with Municipal Waste - and Twisted Tower Dire ax man Dave Boyd. Aptly put, these two superbly rendered cuts are unique in the sense they mark a definite albeit compelling crossroads for the band.

For one thing, the lyrics to both are truly amazing; starting with "Rulebreaker", dig these back-to-back free-wheeling lines, firmly wedged as they are between a killer, thumping bridge and spectacular serial leads: "Fallen angel, trouble's comin' my way/ Animal instinct compels me to seize my prey" and "Shot of whiskey coursing through my veins/ See the look in her eyes, she wants to misbehave...". Though racy and coarse, they retain class and are a far cry from the naughty cheese fest which is the EP's token raunch-parade, "Cheap Thrillz" - enough said the better in this regards! It's really the strong flowing quality of Hubbard's vocals and his cohorts' top notch musicianship which demand this single be heard - multiple times at that.

The main guitar riff to "Rulebreaker" is so compressed and harried yet fluid it smacks of early Megadeth while Ryan Waste's (also Municipal!) "janglloping" (jangling/galloping) bass line astoundingly hits the breaks two-minutes in, hence the pronounced Rudy Sarzo-like pass alluded to above; drums wise, Barry Cover (ex-Immortal Avenger) hints of a youthful Nick Menza (RIP) in his prime circa Rust In Peace/ Countdown To Extinction, thus also diligently contributes to making the Gotham City reprise such a resounding success. To wit, "Killer Angels" is an equally liberating "highway cruising" track, complete with a warp drive sound effect kicking things off; namely, a pleasing and powerful build-up which lasts thirty seconds before the vocals come into play. Now, I've yet to hear the original version but it's uncanny how tremendously it's done justice, therefore easily fooling listeners into believing it's simply another fierce, pounding Volture original, slick sky-high solos included. Hubbard, for his part, unleashes the full fury of his vocal magnetism and prowess as he bellows: "The sky is black, the moon is full, they're feeling really swell/ They are the angels from hell and they're gonna bring you down!". No disrespect to Jack, but aside from adding Dave as a second guitarist, Volture's roster should have been left unchanged.

Suffice to say, these are some of the most exciting nine minutes I've experienced of late and strongly urge folks who may have found Volture's succeeding 2013 full-length debut, On The Edge, somewhat bland and unvaried to give Rulebreaker a shot. Along with Shocking Its Prey, chances are they'll be enthusiastically clamoring for more, its wicked cover art withstanding,

"Running on the highway they are many, they are strong
Cycles are rolling, the wheels are turning, taking them to the sky
They are the angels from hell, and their gonna bring you down
And if you can't get away, you better run away from them

In the night they come
Fighting, fighting men
In the night they come
Killer, killer angels!"

Well that was unexpected... - 90%

LordianSteel, September 10th, 2012

I recently picked up this monster of a single at my local record store a couple of weeks ago, after stumbling upon it while making a purchase of another LP. Seeing as though I have heard of this band and knew what they were about, I immediately picked it up and at 7$, I don't think anyone would pass up on this deal. Anyway, I got home, and popped this sucker in... I was instantly hooked from there.

The first track "Rulebreaker" is an all-out speed metal masterpiece that delivers everything a true headbanger wants playing in the same vein as other swedish heavy metal acts such as Enforcer and Steelwing, and local US acts, such as White Wizzard, who, altogether, portray themselves as the leaders of the revival of traditional heavy metal bands, mainly seen in Sweden, Canada and the US. A very catchy chorus, summed up by tremendous riffs, especially the main one, vocals that fit the music ever so perfectly and take us back to the good old days of true heavy metal. The second track, however, totally took me by surprise. I mean a Gotham City cover? One of my most cherished bands of all time and certainly, the most diverse and talented bands of the Swedish heavy metal scene in the 80s. "Killer Angels" was originally released in 1982 on Gotham City's first single, entitled "Gotham City, of which is also featured on this site. The cover is absolutely fantastic and although it obviously doesn't offer the same calibre as the latter, it is certainly one of the best covers I have ever heard and I'm usually not a big fan of them.

Just imagine me at the time, sitting there awaiting the next song to play, merely thinking it's just another original song called "Killer Angels" and bang! The expression on my face was quite priceless. Overall, a must have for anyone who simply loves heavy metal, go out and support these guys!

Rulebreaker - 95%

jimstayahead1, May 29th, 2012

Rulebreaker is pure, hell for leather heavy metal. There's no hint of modern thrash here, just awesome guitar and falsetto vocals. This is unhinged fun of the highest order. There's nothing wrong with a bit of classic metal, after all, this was the blueprint for what we hold so dear now. Brent Hubbard's vocals are brilliant, the drumming furious and the solo's are rip-roaring fun!

The B side to this EP is the song Killer Angels, which was originally written by Gotham City. It fits the EP perfectly. It's got a slightly harder edge to it, with a more mid paced riffs and percussion. Volture don't turn on the histrionics here, as they are being faithful to the original and they do a great job. Still, there's no escaping those amazing, high pitched vocals.

This is a short, sharp EP containing two instantly hummable songs. I've just found my new favourite band. Now, if only they’d do a cover of Maniac from Flashdance!