Vektor - Black Future
Heavy Artillery Records
Progressive Thrash Metal
9 songs (1:08:03)
Release year: 2009
Heavy Artillery Records
Reviewed by Goat
Surprise of the month

Having recently been causing a stir on the forums, American four-piece Vektor soon prove themselves worthy, mixing the progressive thrash of Canadian heroes Voivod with German Thrash influences to create a hybrid more than capable of standing on its own two feet. Avoiding the sloppiness that so many Thrash bands treat as a badge of honour, Vektor are content to wow the listener with their playing skills, which are excellent. Guitarists David and Erik are relentless, cranking out killer riffs that are at once melodic and technical, moshing and atmospheric, backed by a ferocious rhythm section - drummer Blake especially impressive. It doesn't take long to realise that Vektor are more than forgiven for ripping-off of Voivod's mechanical old-school logo, or that the band have taken more than a respectful influence from the legends; genuinely original Thrash, in this day and age? Yes, it can happen, as rare as it is, and Black Future is highly impressive, feeling more like a lost classic than a new album - it's hard not to think of it as a lost Destruction album from some alternate universe, actually, so much like Schmier does vocalist David sound.

Songs vary in length between just under five minutes and over thirteen, with three ten-minuters - this is a pretty ambitious album, which makes it all the more impressive that Vektor have succeeded where so many other modern Thrash bands fail. Both technical and melodic, with interesting songwriting and a good ability to keep the listener enthralled, Vektor are very advanced for a band that's on its debut full length. Songs rip and thrash without once going for the easy route, the album kicking off with the catchy and stomping title track, grooving ferociously before switching to a speedy, almost Blackened assault. It's easily better than anything Slayer have done recently, and I can't think of a single modern Thrash band who have come up with anything that beats it; were there any justice, Vektor would be hailed louder than all of the copycats that are so widely praised for having achieved so little.

The album just gets more and more impressive. Oblivion takes a near-neoclassical route with its melodic riffing before kicking off into a speedy forward thrust, Destroying The Cosmos adds a little acoustic atmosphere to the mix, almost Hawkwind-y, before stomping off into epic Thrash drama, whilst Forests Of Legend takes you to the dark woods of the title and keeps you there for the whole ten minute running time. Songwriting is excellent for Thrash; there's nothing too outlandish but for pure Thrashing mayhem this is wonderfully listener-friendly. The more listens I give this, the more depths are revealed; the sudden step-up in tension at the start of Hunger For Violence, the brutal charge of Deoxyribonucleic Acid, not to mention the final epic one-two punch of Dark Nebula and Accelerating Universe. The former approaches a kind of Blackened Pink Floyd in its dramatic beauty, whilst the latter takes a more straight-forward Metallica approach before turning almost Cradle Of Filthy, epic guitar lines and screeched vocals speeding along merrily. It all goes supremely psychedelic for a moment before thrashing out most satisfactorily at the end, and you're left simultaneously breathless and wanting more - is there a better recommendation for a Thrash album? Great stuff, a band all the Thrash faithful should be watching.

Killing Songs :
Black Future, Hunger For Violence, Dark Nebula, Accelerating Universe
Goat quoted 87 / 100
Bar quoted 96 / 100
Other albums by Vektor that we have reviewed:
Vektor - Outer Isolation reviewed by Bar and quoted 94 / 100
Vektor - Demolition reviewed by Crash and quoted 84 / 100
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