To all outward appearances, Vektor might sound like a Voivod tribute band, thanks to their penchant for adventurous space-thrash, and a stylized logo that was clearly cribbed directly from the legendary Canucks.
So what’s not love?
I can tel you I raced to pick up 2016’s Terminal Redux, even before learning that the Philadelphia-by-way-of-Arizona quartet had been kicking around the underground since 2004, with two full-lengths already under their belts.
And the only excuse I can think of for this LP’s absence from most end-of-year lists isn’t Vektor’s Voivod, but their inability to edit themselves, leaving as much as 15 minutes of unnecessary riffage, changing time-signatures, and shrieked vocals on this voluminous 74-minute LP.
Which isn’t to say that standout offerings like “Cygnus Terminal” (eight minutes), “Pteropticon” (just six) and “Recharging the Void” (oooeerr, 14!), don’t make every second count, slotting some majestic melodies, deliberate tempos, and atmospheric passages amid the band’s typically hectic pace.
Speaking of … one of Vektor’s distinguishing traits is operating at breakneck speed, on a level with DragonForce (!), particularly on “Charging the Void” (*), “LCD (Liquid Crystal Disease)” and “Pillars of Sand,” which culminates in some dextrous/melodious fretboard work reminiscent of Dream Theater,.
Therefore, despite that much-needed editorial touch, there’s really no major reason to demean this LP’s astonishing musical and thematic accomplishments (yes, Vektor’s sci-fi lyrics are as densely composed as their music).
* This is not a typo: Terminal Redux is bookended by tracks called “Charging the Void” and “Recharging the Void,” which together total over 20 minutes!
is the third album by band Vektor, released on May 6. The album’s lyrics are a sci-fi story about an astronaut finding the key to immortality and using it to gain vast political and financial power, eventually purposefully making himself mortal again following an existential crisis.
Maybe the best thing about Vektor are the vocals, Here we have a thrash metal band with all the right influence, all the right lyrics, For any who doubt the genre’s viability in the 21st century, this is another album that begs you to GUESS AGAIN. If you enjoy riffs and technicality with your thrash or death, you owe it to yourself to give this is a listen.
David DiSanto Erik Nelson Frank Chin Blake Anderson