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Review of the Album Vultures & Hyenas by Japanese Thrash Metal Band Insult Kill

Updated on March 11, 2023
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Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

A vulture
A vulture | Source

A Little Bit About the Band Insult Kill

Insult Kill is a very fast and heavy thrash metal band that is from Tokyo, Japan. The style is fast, relentless, and in some respects sounds like Metallica. The vocalist and guitarist Kyrylo Stefanskyi is from Ukraine but he now lives in Japan. This is the second such Japanese thrash metal band that I have seen that has a vocalist that is non-Japanese.

Pros and Cons About the Album Vultures & Hyenas

The album also has that feel of Fates Warning in it so there is a case to be made that Vultures & Hyenas has some progressive influences in it. “On the Wings of Sin” is a really fast song in which the vocalist tries to sound like a more raspy version of Tom Araya and it really doesn't work out here. There has to be some attempt to be original instead of trying to rehash something that has already been done. The vocals suffer from the need to try and prove that they can be as loud and as harsh as possible but when you have a hard time understanding what is being uttered, it is extremely difficult to give the album an elite score. There are a few Japanese bands with bad vocals, one of them being Sacrifice. But in this instance, language issues cannot be used to describe these vocals. The band's name is also questionable but as for the riffs, technicality, and drumming those attributes are good enough. If only this band could work on really improving the vocals then the result would be an even better thrash metal album.

Vultures & Hyenas Is An Album That Starts Off Strong

With that stated, how is the album overall? The intro which is just over a minute long is soft, melodic and is influenced by bands such as Annihilator because you can tell by the guitar tone if you are experienced enough. The next song called Personal Meaningless is stylistically like Denver Colorado based band Havok because it's got that riffing style. It is a modern thrash metal song that has harmonies in it that fit well within the context of the song. “Mangled by Rats” start with the talk of decay before the heavy picking riff dominates this song. In the middle of the song is a riff that sounds like the interlude of the song For Whom the Bell Tolls before the song really picks up in speed and the loud vocals dominate here.

Vultures & Hyenas Album Analysis Continued

By the title track in the album the band tries to really be intense with the speed as the drums pound incessantly and the song tries to be like a Cannibal Corpse song which doesn't belong for an album such as this. One other thing must be said about the vocals. They are not hoarse and low like the vocalist from the band Sacrifice and they are also not like the vocalist from the band Volcano. They are like loud, raspy screeches that are hard to understand. The song Dementia with its shouts in the song is a good, heavy song. There is a bass section that would have made Metallica impressed. There is also some tapping guitar similar to the song Ride the Lightning which is pretty easy to spot. Critical Fluffed Elevation has some interesting sounds in it as the style resembles Fates Warning as they sounded in 1994. So it is good to see this band trying to experiment and make a diverse thrash metal album. So far, the strongest songs in Vultures & Hyenas are the first three songs. Only Lies is a song that sounds like a modern version of the song “No Remorse” but obviously this song is nowhere near as good as that one. “Outro” is another acoustic instrumental song similar to the Intro that we heard at the start of this album. Overall, Vultures & Hyenas is an album that is well done in some parts and it is incoherent in other parts along with the bad vocals and for this reason it is a mixed effort musically. But it is not average like the thrash metal releases by some of these American bands.

© 2020 Ara Vahanian


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