Viperine - The Predator Awakens
Metal Rules Records
Heavy Metal
11 songs (38:06)
Release year: 2004
Reviewed by Cody
Archive review

Have you ever encountered an album that after one or two listens you considered it one of the most abysmal pieces of musical craftsmanship your poor educated ears have ever ran across, but for some reason you couldn't stop listening to it because there was something about it that kept drawing you back? I had a similar reaction when I listened to Metal Rules Records' first signed act, Viperine, and their debut album The Predator Awakens.

When I first turned this bad boy up to 11, what blared back at me was some finely tuned metal played by four fellows that obviously had the entire Manowar discography tucked away in a special place in their CD collections. Viperine is a technically skilled outfit with instantly recognizable blazing guitars solos backed by magnificently tight drumwork that can best be described as a glossy, well produced Manowar album that any fan of theirs would call a masterpiece. Now, Im sure many of you are by now wondering where the whole negative aspect of the album comes into play after giving such flattering comments--well, when you hear vocalist Hussni Mörsare open up his mouth to reveal what sounds uncannily like what Eric Adams must sound like trying to sing Heavy Metal while pushing out a massive shit, you'll understand exactly what I mean.

Hussni's screechy 38 minute rendition of Eric Adams really put a damper on my opinion of the album....initially. After the first few listens I put this album away and didn't come back to it for several months because of my disappointment in it. I was so let down with this album because I had heard from everyone on the boards that this was the best thing since sliced bread (surprise surprise), that when I finally had a chance to listen to it after weeks of waiting for the hyped up album to be released, I was brought down to reality--The Predator Awakens was a barely tolerable Manowar clone, due in large part to the horrid vocals.

Fortunately, I finally gave the album another chance, and what I heard this time around was...different. The music had retained the amazing technicality that I had heard in previous listens, but something had indeed changed for me. I found that Hussni's strange style was becoming more tolerable. I think my mind began to rationalize that this was a damn good album with a sub par vocalist attached to it. My mind then transitioned to comparing Hussni to Sacred Steel vocalist Gerrit P. Mutz, and my whole damn perspective changed. Hussni showed up Mutz (who is arguably, one of the worst vocalists in metal today) in talent. I gave the album yet another spin, and shockingly, I was beginning to really dig the album. Once I got past Hussni's over-indulgence of Eric Adams, I started listening to the album on its own merit, warranting Hussni's positive additions to the piece, and it really began to grow on me.

For those who are HUGE fans of Manowar, you should be chomping at the bit to get ahold of this record for obvious reasons. However, for the rest of the metal community, listen to this album with an extremely open mind and prepare yourself for some over the top vocals than CAN work with the music if you give it a chance. I think Metal Rules Records took a gamble by signing Viperine as their first act, but they are definitely showing promise. My hope is that a more vocally refined album can be produced in the future, with Hussni Mörsare not trying so damn hard.

Killing Songs :
Like a Viper, Pure Evil
Cody quoted 80 / 100
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There are 7 replies to this review. Last one on Tue Jul 05, 2005 11:24 pm
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