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Vindicator: United we fall

14/08/12  ||  gk

Retro thrash band Vindicator are on to their third full length in 2012 and business seems to have picked up a fair deal. Formed in 2005, the band’s first 2 albums were decent but very workman like additions to the whole thrash revival. “United we fall” though seems a bit different from its predecessors. The one big change is the inclusion of guitarist James LaRue and this has seen a corresponding rise in the quality of the riffs and solos.

The band really doesn’t do anything new. I guess that’s a given now with this brand of retro thrash but Vindicator do have riffs and some really good songs. The album opens with a sample heavy intro talking about environmental catastrophe before first song proper “Gears of fate” opens with a classic Bay Area influenced riff and is quite catchy to boot while elsewhere on the album Bastard of noise and aggression benefits from some damn fine soloing and a memorable chorus. “Hail to the thief” is ridiculously catchy but let down a little by the vocalist’s copying of Dave Mustaine. Title song “Divided we stand… united we fall” is the album highlight with some excellent riffing at the start before going off into a completely different and surprising direction half way through. “Obsoletion” is a short, soft instrumental that closes the album in a subdued style.

The one thing I have to talk about is new guitarist James LaRue. This guy can play and his solos really lift these songs above the average and mediocre tag that Vindicator used to carry. Also, drummer Jesse Stown plays pretty simply in following the guitars but sounds very solid while vocalist and rhythm guitarist Vic Stown’s riffing is pretty good throughout.

It’s not all great though. The band sometimes worships too fervently at the altar of Megadeth and vocalist Vic Stown has that slightly nasal voice and a tendency to sound like Mustaine every now and then. This could be great or not so good depending on where you stand.

The music on the whole is obviously derivative but Vindicator still manages to make it work. “United we fall” reminds me at times of Xentrix’s “For whose advantage”. Just like Xentrix ripped off Metallica shamelessly but still managed to make an enjoyable thrash album, so too Vindicator borrow from the greats of the genre and still manage to make a very entertaining thrash metal album. Fans of the genre will not be disappointed.

7,5

  • Information
  • Released: 2012
  • Label: Slaney Records
  • Website: Vindicator MySpace
  • Band
  • Vic Stown: vocals, guitars
  • James LaRue: guitars
  • Ed Stephens: bass
  • Jesse Stown: drums
  • Tracklist
  • 01. Global Warning
  • 02. Gears of Fate
  • 03. Man Undone
  • 04. Bastards of Noise and Aggression
  • 05. Fatal Infection
  • 06. Hail to the Thief
  • 07. End Dependence
  • 08. Divided We Stand…United We Fall
  • 09. At War With Thy Neighbor
  • 10. Fire Escape
  • 11. Nationwide Ruination
  • 12. Obsoletion