Vexovoid – Call of the Starforger (2017) REVIEW

The influence of modern thrash bands like Revocation and Vektor cannot be understated and as those bands have pushed fast, extreme metal tinged thrashers into the 2010’s they’ve inspired numerous younger bands to follow suit. The true test of influence versus plagiarism is the full-length. Take the band Black Fast for example, they’re clearly massively influenced by Vektor‘s technical rough-housed thrasher ‘Black Future’ from 2009. For their most recent full-length Black Fast dialed back a lot of the Vektor resemblance and instead focused on elements of melodic black metal, with a progressive thrash sound. The result was a fantastic leap in quality and success with their own sound on ‘Terms of Surrender‘. Vexovoid are in a similar position on thier debut full-length where they’ve channeled Vektor’s ‘Outer Isolation’ but smoothed out any of the Arizona band’s rough edges, tossed in an unoriginal science fiction thrash motif and called it good. I won’t say it is plagiarism at all, it isn’t. I will say that they’re wasting their talents recreating the guitar work of David DiSanto too precisely.

Inspired by the music of Coroner, Sadus, and Vektor I’ve become a relentless fanatic of technical thrash metal to the point of incredible tedium. I’ve studied and hunted down every single technical thrash metal release I could find online and through mail order. In fact, I’m up to 323 releases cataloged and Vexovoid is easily one of the most talented post-2000 bands out there. Their arrangements are inescapably influenced by Vektor to the point of clonal resemblance and that is a shame because these guys are shredders with incredible talent. ‘Call of the Starforger’ is a brooding, thoughtful razor-edged technical thrash metal record that improves one hundred percent upon their debut EP from 2014. They’ve cut out the annoying the samples that made the EP irritating and focused on packed each song with enough riff salad to make a horse barf.

So this album has me a bit torn because I ultimately worship this kind of music and can overlook the sort of ‘me too’ sound here. I mean I love several bands that sound like other bands and to be fair this record doesn’t necessarily resemble the progressive thrash found on ‘Terminal Redux’. I like this and I’m more than happy to flick another gnarly thrash booger on my wall but I can’t help but wonder what this band is capable of doing with thrash without using the tried and true bones that Vektor’s music provides. A real focus on creativity could go a long way here.

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Artist Vexovoid
Type Album
Released December 11, 2017
BUY/LISTEN on their Bandcamp! Follow Vexovoid on Facebook
Genres

Roaming through the infinity 3.5/5.0

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