Sunday, September 08, 2013

Volture-On the Edge

High Roller Records

Richmond, Virginia's heavy metal act Volture, who are releasing their first full-length album with "On The Edge", is a side-project that was formed in 2008 by bassist Ryan Waste (guitarist for Municipal Waste) and guitarist Nick Poulus (ex-Cannabis Corspe). With the desire to play traditional metal weighing heavy on Ryan's mind, which was something that was not likely to happen anytime soon when it came to his day job with thrash metal/crossover act Municipal Waste, two former members of Immortal Avenger (vocalist Brent Hubbard and drummer Barry Cover) were also enlisted to fill out the ranks. Ryan Waste had played with both Hubbard (who would eventually be replaced by Jack Bauer) and Cover in Immortal Avenger so bringing the pair in was absolute no-brainer on the part of Ryan. After a 2010 split with Sweden's Enforcer serving as an introudction the group would release the 6-track EP, "Shocking Its Prey", in early 2011. Both the EP and the (late 2011) 7" single "Rulebreaker", which saw the addition of  Dave Boyd (Twisted Tower Dire) on second guitar, were well-received by fans and critics alike with comparisons being made to the likes of Diamond Head, Quartz and even Raven. A cover of "Killer Angels" by Gotham City actually appeared on the B-side of the "Rulebreaker" single which further proved to be a none-to subtle statement as to what direction these U.S. rockers would continue to travel in and just who it was that the band considered to be their biggest influences. Now here it is some 2 years later, during which time the band made an appearance at the Keep It True festival (alongside some of their heroes no less!), and we find that Volture has been signed by the fine folks at High Roller Records. Seems like a perfect fit to me. After all we are talking about a metal group that lists the likes of  Heavy Load, Overdrive, Torch, Gotham City, Scratch, Sacrifice (Swe), Mindless Sinner and Sergeant as influences so you know the band has their hearts in the right place if nothing else! Thankfully this talented bunch can play and, better yet, can write meanfull material. That's two positive check marks than this bunch has going for them. With "On The Edge" we're also talking about a band that most certainly likes the more well-known bands of old like Iron Maiden, Satan and Demon as well as some of the not so well-known like Dark Heat, Praying Mantis and Desolation Angels. As Ryan Waste and Nick Poulos reportedly started things off by first sending mix tapes back and forth to each other (featuring some obscure and unknown bands within the 80's metal scene and N.W.O.B.H.M. movement) it sort of makes sense that, unlike bands like Enforcer and Cauldren for example, the musicians involved with Volture's sound come across as much more sincere and true-hearted. Unlike far too many retro metal acts out there today it's that large pool of influences (everyone from Heavy Load to Desolation Angels) that makes Volture stand out. Start to finish this album sounds remarkably real and unpretentious as if this flesh and blood band had been doing things this way since the early-mid eighties! Even when they tip the scale a little bit more towards HEAVIER heavy metal it's almost more like you're listening to a band that's half Anthrax and half Metallica if, and only if, those pieces/parts were more of a straight and narrow traditional metal act. Wow, I just realized that sounds like it's WAY FAR out of left field, but listen to "On the Edge" and maybe, just maybe, you'll hear what I'm hearing. Man, how I wish there were more bands like this that were keeping the spirit of older metal alive without sounding like a bunch of twits while doing it! Well, that and I do wish now that Municipal Waste was the side-project and that Volture was the main band as Volture is some sweet-ass heavy metal! Volture's sound has come from the heart as you can tell that Ryan Waste and company are really huge fans of the bands they choose to honour through their playing. This one is easy to recommend especially if you get as huge of a rush as I do listening to straight, no filler, metal!

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