Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Vektor - "Terminal Redux" (Album Review)

By: Daniel Jackson

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 6/5/2016
Label: Earache Records


It’s dazzling; an absolute marvel of an album from a technical performance standpoint, not to mention unique and fascinating in its style. It’s also absurdly long and dense to the point where the ratio of “total number of riffs” to “riffs I remember an hour after I’ve listened to it” is pretty low.  On that basis, I’ll likely come to enjoy this album a lot more when I’m able to enjoy it in different doses at different times, as opposed to listening to the album all the way through and evaluating it as a singular whole experience.  For me, there’s just too much to be enjoyed in a single sitting and in the case of this record, too much of a good thing is perhaps bordering on excessive, even if what they are doing is great

‘Terminal Redux’ CD//LP//DD track listing:

1. Charging The Void 9:12
2. Cygnus Terminal 8:15
3. LCD (Liquid Crystal Disease) 7:33
4. Mountains Above The Sun 1:22
5. Ultimate Artificer 5:04
6. Pteropticon 6:00
7. Psychotropia 7:39
8. Pillars Of Sand 5:19
9. Collapse 9:22
10. Recharging The Void 13:37

Vektor is:

David DiSanto | Guitar, Vocals
Erik Nelson | Guitar
Blake Anderson | Drums
Frank Chin | Bass

The Review:

I’ll apologize to you now for how weird this review is going to be. The truth of the matter is that even after a month since the release of ‘Terminal Redux’, I still can’t fully commit to how I feel about it. It’s dazzling; an absolute marvel of an album from a technical performance standpoint, not to mention unique and fascinating in its style. It’s also absurdly long and dense to the point where the ratio of “total number of riffs” to “riffs I remember an hour after I’ve listened to it” is pretty low. There’s just so much going on, and for sheer quantity you could probably get three very good to great albums out of the sheer quantity of riffs available on this album. But while things often pass in a blur on this album, it’s a beautiful, exceptional blur.

Attempting to distil an album like this one down, is damn near impossible, because there’s just too much to account for. The foundation is thrash, obviously with some connection to Voivod. But there’s also shades of black metal thrown in for added melodicism. Then there’s David DiSanto’s Chuck Schuldiner-esque vocal approach, and stylistic nods to the progressive side of Death’s sound, more ‘Human’ and later, rather than their earlier albums, but still, by and large, Vektor’s base is frantic, hyper thrash with ultra intense and technical rhythm guitar work at virtually all times. The musicianship on display is as captivating as it is thrilling.

But, as time goes on, that effect tends to wear off. ‘Terminal Redux’ is a fatiguing listen at 73 minutes. In fact, there’s only one song on the album under five minutes, and it’s an instrumental interlude that lasts all of 1:22. The remaining songs are often anywhere between 7 to 13(!) minutes, which is excessive for the frenetic pace the album maintains throughout. The crazy thing is it’s not like the album necessarily dips in quality as it goes on either. It’s just simply too much of it in one sitting.

Of course my view is entirely subjective here. There are likely plenty of people reading this with the endurance to last the whole album through and want to go back and re-listen immediately. I’m just not that person. My favorite band could put out a record on par with my favorites, but if it’s this long, I’m going to consciously pick and choose songs and come back to others the next time and maybe that’s the route to go here. I’ll likely come to enjoy this album a lot more when I’m able to enjoy it in different doses at different times, as opposed to listening to the album all the way through and evaluating it as a singular whole experience. For me, there’s just too much to be enjoyed in a single sitting and in the case of this record, too much of a good thing is perhaps a little excessive, even if what they are doing is great

You can pick up a digital copy here and a CD/LP copy here.


Band info: Facebook

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