When you think of Gothenburg based bands, names such as At The Gates, Dark Tranquility and In Flames will no doubt come to mind. Arguably some of the premier bands that helped develop the “Gothenburg sound” of metal, they helped drive the scene forward with their incorporation of elements form all around the metal scene at the time. And, in some ways, the same can be said about the new album from Vampire entitled Rex.
Whilst it’s not melodic death metal, far from it, it does incorporate a lot of different elements from all around the metal scene. There’s traditional NWOBHM style riffing on tracks such as “Inspiritus”, death metal inspired vocal patterns and techniques and a sound that wouldn’t be out of place from that time period. Take the latter half of the track “Pandemoni”, the section surrounding the guitar solo would fit perfectly alongside some riffs from Season’s era Slayer. This trend continues throughout the album with the track “Serafim” in particular being reminiscent of a style you could find on many records and cassettes in the record store in the early 1990’s.
And that’s predominately what this album feel like. A homage to the ‘olden days’ of metal with a production style too boot. Sure, Rex isn’t going to be for everyone and, at a time where the focus is more on innovating and having a unique sound, it may be considered to be a bit of a step backwards. However, there is no denying that this is a very good album with tracks such as “Rekviem” and “Melek Taus” in particular being prime examples of what the majority of the harder edge of metal was like in the early 90’s.
Rex is available now via Century Media Records.