"Stranger Times"

By Lord Randall

 One doesn’t just idly wander into an album by Norway’s VULTURE INDUSTRIES. Firstly, as has been my experience in previous albums, all bets are off when it comes to the stylistic excursions that may appear, oftentimes within the same song. Add to this the unbridled abandon with which the quintet approaches each of these shifts, and it becomes clear from early on that VI has never been, nor was ever intended to be background music. 

 The above proves ever more true with "Stranger Times", the band’s fourth full-length in a decade. ‘Tales Of Woe’ works as an ideal leadoff, ushering us into the dark carnival of the struggle between Good and Evil over humanity, something we never were asked to have happen in the first place, while ‘The Beacon’ uses the downcast, lamenting chord progressions of the Huse/Madsen guitar duo to annotate the utter forlorn, yet questioning vocal work of Bjornar Nilsen. Disjointed, mechanized rhythms thrust ‘Gentle Touch Of A Killer’ forward, almost against its well, the herky-jerky tempo working to call forth the beast of finality, truly, as Yeats described, slouching towards an anti-Bethlehem. Ending with ‘Midnight Draws Near’, we hear Nilsen at his unhinged best, a harbinger in fool’s motley, at the top of a teetering tower, and singing the eulogy of the soul. 

 Looking for a musical soundtrack to your existential dilemma? Seek, and ye shall find…Stranger Times.