VESSEL "Behind the Walls" EP

By Dr. Abner Mality

VESSEL is a truly international band boasting members from Spain, Brazil and Israel. They claim to be bringing back the best of classic 80's metal but dressed up for the modern day. I get a bit of a nervous tic after reading a pronouncement such as that, but let's give this a whirl.

I wouldn't call this a breakthrough or historic release by any stretch, but VESSEL actually delivers a lot of what they promise. There is something likable about this band's unfussy approach to their music. I'd say that the primary influences I hear on "Behind The Walls" are W.A.S.P. and the more streetwise side of JUDAS PRIEST, but there's also some AC/DC, crunchy hair metal and a bit of METAL CHURCH moodiness. That's a pretty heady stew.

"Keep Running" introduces us to VESSEL with a steady crunch, kinda PRIEST-meets-AC/DC. The vocals of one Mr. Bruno Passy remind me of the stronger hair metal singers like Tom Keifer of CINDERELLA. "First Rain" is where the band's quality really becomes evident...this is a great true metal tune that jams its way through a nice variety of riffs and some hot guitar solos. This is their best track, IMO. "Shape of the Devil" is much bluesier, a kind of semi-ballad that thumps on the chorus. Cliched yet not unappealing. "Overdrive" has the swagger of many a WASP tune and is just heads down heavy metal rock n roll, while the title track ends the album with the longest tune. This one is dark and kind of gloomy, with echoes of DIO and METAL CHURCH.

VESSEL haven't totally established their own identity here and still exist mainly as a combination of their influences. But it's a fun listen if you like classic 80's metal and it's also well produced. I look forward to a full length from these guys.