Sweden’s VAMPIRE have been around for half a decade at this point and have an EP and an album under their belts already. While both quality pieces of material they felt like there was always something lurking beneath the surface, a sense of potential for so much more. Now, with the band’s second album With Primeval Force have they managed to deliver upon this?
Opener Knights of the Burning Crypt certainly feels like it. A ripper of a first track it blast through bringing both a sense of urgency and aggression as well as mixing it with melodic passages for a melancholy feeling. The track stands as a good example of what can be expected on the remainder of the album. He Who Speaks continues minus the melodic parts instead focusing on riffs and aggression more reminiscent of the band’s previous work. Metamorphosis is the least aggressive track on the album, instead featuring some brilliant interplay between the bands two guitarists, a new and welcome change from the earlier material.
Skull Prayer is another faster one and seemly over before its begun encapsulating the style that VAMPIRE play very well, with its focus on individuality and darkness harking back to a time before genres had rules. Midnight Trial is a true head banger of a track with vocal lines spat rapidly over a punishingly fast riff leading into a roar of a chorus. Surprisingly simple from this band and all the more powerful for the contrast. Revenants is one of the more varied songs on offer here and slower than the majority of others. Both the tempo and melody are changed throughout the track and it works perfectly, half early SLAYER half KING DIAMOND and all good.
Beginning to move towards the end of the album Ghoul Wind is another fast thrasher of a track, showing that despite the bands growth and slight experimentation with dark progressive elements they still produce angry songs. Initiation Rite is easily the best track on the album, despite the quality on offer throughout. Opening with a slow head banging riff before kicking the pace up into overdrive and with an impossibly huge chorus laid over a brilliantly melodic riff between the duel guitars, everything on this song works perfectly. An outstanding song. Scylla closes the album in typical fashion with a mid-paced offering of darkness featuring one of the more memorable solo’s on the record.
Throughout this album VAMPIRE have succeeded in creating a dark atmosphere which perfectly suits the music and are to be commended for it. While comparisons with other bands can be drawn, there is a trademark of individuality and passion put onto this record that cannot be taken as anything less than genuine commitment to the darkness and what lies beyond. Expect great things from this band.
With Primeval Force is set for release on April 21st via Century Media Records.
For more information on VAMPIRE like their official page on Facebook.