Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2019
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

Divinelore - 100%

Woltcher, May 14th, 2019
Written based on this version: 2019, CD, Gates of Hell Records

After two quite successful EPs, the wait for Vultures Vengeance debut is finally over and every second of it was worth the cause. This young and promising band has delivered a masterfully crafted heavy metal album with lots of USPM elements, the whole clearly inspired by timeless bands including Cirith Ungol, Manilla Road or Dark Quarterer. Oozing with mythical and at times tranquil atmosphere, "The Knightlore" opens a new chapter for this Italian band.

The first thing to notice about this release is the band's new approach to melodies in their compositions. Compared to their previous efforts, the primal guitar rawness is pushed back in the background, while harmonies and graceful melodic play takes the main role. From soft acoustic tones to overdriven roars and shrieks, sometimes even melting and merging into one another ("Dead Men and Blind Fates"), these guys have made something unforgettable. No note is left without it's purpose, each sound made by the guitars adds to the already thick atmosphere created by the whole band. Both of the guitar virtuosi Tony Scelzi and Tony T. Steele have developed an otherworldly experience lasting for the entire length of this record. Although, at rare occasions sloppy in it's delivery, the great feel of their playstyle remains exquisite and resolute, thus, I dare say - imperishable.

Vocal-wise, Tony T. Steele was the perfect choice. Widely compared to Blind Guardian's Hansi K├╝rsch or sometimes even Tim Baker (Cirith Ungol), Mr. Steele can unrelentingly deliver powerful screams and wails. It's the raw, defiant and unchained power, that goes hand-in-hand with the guitars. Usually sitting at mid-register, Tony T. Steele is capable of some impressively high screams, which, at first can be even confused with a guitar vibrato ("Pathfinder's Call"). His strong delivery and unique timbre is an aspect that gives a rugged edge to Vultures Vengeance sound.

The rhythm section holds the wall of unconquered fortress, playing evenly and developing an appropriate swing for everything that happens above, without quantization. Each track has a solid foundation underneath, be it a great riff or an engaging chord progression morphing and shifting frequently until the very end of each composition. The bass provides a solid low end, albeit lacking a tad of revelation. Despite that, Matt Savage fits his role admirably, laying a steadfast rhythm and supporting the drums. The man behind the kit, Matt Serafini supplies us with plenty of fills and original drum lines. Running the engine of the performance is not a small task - in this case we won't hear double kicks throughout the entire track, as everything about the drums is kept in a dynamic and diverse manner, delivering tons of power to carry out the sonic assault.

As for technicalities - the production of The Knightlore is clearly it's strength. The guitars have a muscular and fitting tone, the drums sound natural and go well with tamed bass. Steele's vocal soar up high, at times conflicting with the guitars, but the whole band's tone transfers an astounding amount of raw power. The Knightlore's production aims to sound like 80's metal and does so pretty well without being a blatant copycat - instead adding something new to the sound.

Despite all the praise from my side there are still some imperfections - as mentioned before - lack of some variety in bass line, vocals conflicting with guitars, pretty loud cymbals in the mix... But does it really ruin that album? Hell no. Some imperfections can be perfect, adding a certain charm to some details. The Knightlore, being a debut dominates with it's prowess, unique atmosphere and instrumentation - from the beginning to an end.

To sum things up... Is there a perfect album? Objectively - no. And I doubt there ever will be. For some there already is one, albeit, in this case it's all subjective. This one might be the one for me. Vultures Vengeance has set it's path with The Knightlore, shining through with their creativity and skill, which made that album an unforgettable masterpiece.

Highlights: "A Great Spark in the Dark", "Pathfinder's Call", "Eye of a Stranger", "Chained by the Night".