With 2019’s breakthrough album, Ghastly Waves & Battered Graves, Vulture soared to the stratosphere, propelled by a high octane mix of Deutsche thrash and incendiary speed metal.
And the horror-obsessed German quintet have built on that momentum with Dealin’ Death, their third full-length, which was unleashed in May.
But what’s behind the band’s unique sound? And where do Vulture go from here?
Rich Holmes caught up with bassist Andreas Axetinctör to talk pandemics, Poe and the future of heavy metal…
Rushonrock: It’s been two years since you released Ghastly Waves & Battered Graves. How has the band evolved since then… and what has changed between that record and Dealin’ Death?
Andreas Axetinctör: We had a better pace during the writing process this time. This gave us the freedom to develop songs more intuitively, but also dwell on ideas longer to see if they worked or not.
Additionally, we used the time to take a look back and evaluate what ‘Vulture’ really stands for, channelling everything into the new songs.
All in all, it was a much more ‘unforced’ process.
Rushonrock: A lot of thrash metal doesn’t deviate from a standard ‘template’. However, you have created your own style… and it’s very easy to identify a Vulture song. What’s the secret?
Andreas Axetinctör: Right from the start we had the aim to search for most of our influence in the early days of heavy metal, drawing our own conclusions just like the first speed and thrash metal bands did back in the day.
So instead of copying their ‘template’ we tried to form our own. This way, instead of trying desperately to be ‘different’, everything comes together more naturally and by feeling, if you will.
Rushonrock: How has the Coronavirus pandemic impacted on the band… and what effect did it have on Dealin’ Death?
Andreas Axetinctör: I guess that there is really no band or musician that wasn’t affected one way or the other.
For us it came at quite a ‘fortunate’ time at first. We had just finished the pre-production of Dealin’ Death and were preparing for the studio when the pandemic hit, so having a little more time came in kinda handy. But apart from that, the album recording and production were not really affected.
It still sucks big time that a lot of amazing shows that we had planned were cancelled or postponed, so we’re still hoping that they will be happening in 2022.
Rushonrock: The Court of Caligula is a real departure from your usual fast-paced approach. Do you want to explore this direction more in the future?
Andreas Axetinctör: This is a question we asked ourselves a lot during the writing process. Having three midtempo songs (Gorgon, Below the Mausoleum and The Court of Caligula) on the record seemed kinda strange at first but it just felt right. It gave us a lot of new possibilities and adds a lot of ‘richness’ to our sound, I would say.
We will definitely not write a record that is solely midtempo, but there will sure be songs like that in the future.
Rushonrock: You incorporate horror into your music, lyrics and artwork. Which writers or films have had the biggest influence on Vulture?
Andreas Axetinctör: We’re obviously huge fans of the classics, be it the tales of Poe, Lovecraft and Chambers, or the films of Dario Argento and the Hammer Film Studio, just to name a few. But we draw our inspiration from every atmospheric and sometimes obscure piece of horror media we can find.
Rushonrock: Dealin’ Death was recorded by Stallion guitarist Alexander Stöcker. What was it like to work with him on the album?
Andreas Axetinctör: At first we were unsure how it would be to track with someone we don’t really know, since it’s really a very intimate situation, but Alex brought a shitload of patience and sheer willpower to the whole process, working over 10 hours every day for 10 days straight without losing his temper even slightly.
Rushonrock: And you turned one again to Marco Brinkmann at Hellforge Studio to produce the album – what does he bring to Vulture?
Andreas Axetinctör: Without Marco, Vulture would really not sound like Vulture.
He has been forming our sound since the very first demo and with Dealin’ Death he undoubtedly did the best job he has ever done.
This doesn’t just include the mixing but he also did a lot of deep research about how the sound of some of our favourite records were produced, contacting musicians and producers to get every piece of information first hand. That was really, really impressive!
Rushonrock: Kreator, Destruction and Sodom are still putting out records decades after they started out – can you imagine yourselves following in their footsteps?
Andreas Axetinctör: Time will tell if we will have the strength and support to make it that far.
The upcoming years will be really exciting anyway since most of the old bands will have to retire some day. I’m curious to see how the vacuum they will leave behind will be filled, or if the scene will face a huge collapse.
Rushonrock: What do you think of the current thrash scene, both in Germany and internationally?
Andreas Axetinctör: When I was getting into metal 15 years ago it was in the middle of this huge thrash revival, every classic band was getting back to a more traditional sound and young, exciting bands were popping up at every corner.
Nearly every week I found a dozen new, amazing bands from all over the world on MySpace. That was a fucking great time!
Maybe I’m just not that active or easily impressed anymore, but I feel like that’s not really the case today. But overall, the scene is still very vivid, I just wish there was some more fresh blood from time to time.
Rushonrock: Are there any newer bands that you rate highly?
Andreas Axetinctör: Quite a few, yes! A lot of Scandinavian bands, like Antichrist and Nekromantheon, have really set new standards in brutality and tightness with their latest records,
And then there are also bands like Hällas and Black Magic that really delivered some high quality, more 70’s influenced sounds in the last years.
Rushonrock: What’s next for Vulture? Where do you want to go from here?
Andreas Axetinctör: Right now we’re really happy that it is possible to meet and rehearse again!
The next step would be to get back on stage and maybe get the possibility to go on a big tour to present the new album to a bigger audience.
Dealin’ Death is out now on Metal Blade.
Check out our review of Dealin’ Death here.