Talent and potential lost among the breakdowns
Fight dancing ... some love it and some loathe it. I'm sure Carmichael, California natives Fate hope the trend lasts forever as near on 95% of this album is directly aimed at that market. Vultures is so derivative of the genre, I knew what was coming next and pre-empted every sub bass boom, that after being used twice already on an album becomes seriously ineffective.
Above the lack of originality and annoying monotony of vocalist Justin Krahn (his growl isn't bad, just void of variety) is the criminal mix on Jacob Durrett's drums. The 'clicky' trigger sound is fatally distracting from the groove of things, not that there's much of that either as the chop and change of riffs leaves little to nod the head to, except of course when the chugga breakdowns kick in and drag on. The snare and bass drum trigger sounds are too close in tone and I'm also tempted to call them on some sloppy kick patterns (bugger, did I say that out loud?). Another gripe is the mid tempo blast beats that because of either the mix or performance, get rather messy at times.
With all that being said, the technical side of the riffing from Kyle Fishman and Bryce Yuson has potential and they pull out some nice scale runs. The Between the Buried And Me /Job For A Cowboy scattered riffing style can work and at times they had it in the bag, only to head into another god awful chug stop/start breakdown riff that just screams “boring section” to me. Paste it all together with lifeless, monotone growling and uninspired song writing and I'm looking for the next disc in the review pile.
Highlights ... hmmm. Apostasy is an opening 39 second intro (that has a nasty non-muted guitar burp at the end, very unprofessional gents) that actually does display the talent the guitarists possess. Your Creed Is Greed has a few semi interesting death metal riffs among the confusing cut and paste song writing and Battle Grounds Beneath My Feet has some of those tasty Between The Buried And Me scales runs, but they sound VERY much like Between The Buried And Me. Strangely the title track (Vultures in case you'd forgotten) is another instrumental that starts off with a very generic Killswitch Engage feel but again displays the talent the lads have when not in 'core' mode. Decapitate Delilah starts off interesting but then just ends up spiraling into more of the same.
In a nutshell, Vultures is a cookie cutter 'deathcore' album that's heavy on the fight dance soundtrack, some Suffocation worship, some unfortunate drum mixing and a lot of talent flushed down the shitter in favour of being part of a scene instead of aspiring to be something greater.
Oh and by the way, this is not Death Metal kids! If you want to hear the real thing, ask your older brother or check out the bands that all your friends AREN'T into ... you might be surprised.
(Metal Blade Records/Stomp Records Distribution)