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Grotesque and carnivalesque - 90%

MetalDeity, October 6th, 2013

Once again, after a 3 year break, members of avant garde quartet Vulture Industries have returned to grave us with their third effort, titled simply "The Tower". This time around the sound seems to be of less somber and deject resonations, but builds upon the motifs of nostalgia and melancholy, and also worth noticing it is palpably less heavy, but still heavy enough to suit even the most picky and petty of metal fans. And while the band's progression is still evident, as with many bands they've settled with a more comfortable and probed sound, not that it strips this album of any quality.

The songs are more brooding and soothing and speed is kept mostly at mid-pace, more often slowing down than speeding up, often recycling and reiterating a singular phrase accompanied by backing instrumentation consisting of a myriad of keyboards, backing vocals, and effects. The black metal element is further reduced and owes only to a couple of shrieks and more frantic, furious guitar cords that will jangle every now and then, but aside from that is kept at a very minimum. The backbone still consists of almost rock-ish ambiance coupled with operatic, emotive vocal manifestations. The musicianship is proficient, professional, and piercing with honesty and dedication, which is hard to come by in the newer history of metal. As the album revolves around more drudging and dragging melodies and instrumentation, it is best listened to in its entirety and consecutively, as song arrangement and track listing has been mastered with adequacy and aptitude.

The lyrics revolve around inner feelings of desperation, desolation, and destitution that we all endure and are suitable for a genre priding itself with occult ideologies, pagan/ancient traditions, and the closest match of all, depressive/suicidal experiences.

If I have to extract a single track from this fine portfolio of agony and grief, it would be the title track with its glorious melody that glitters with hope and upheaval. Then there's the more epic grandeur of "The Hound" , the sheer emotional outpouring of "A Knife Between Us", and the percussive, bass heavy "Lost Among Liars" finale.

Again, Vulture Industries prove perfectly apt to not disappoint, as what we have here is cordial, poignant, and visceral renditions of human psyche branded with songwriting brilliancy and bestowed with technical finesse. These guys know how to balance the sound to get the ultimate median between aggression, emotion, originality, and dexterity. It's bands like these that cross-sect and intermarry the genre's most significant and obvious trademarks and distinctions, treading many different expressive routes, but are confined to none. Recommended 9/10.