Outer Isolation
VEKTOR

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VEKTOR - Outer Isolation cover
4.20 | 19 ratings | 6 reviews
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Album · 2011

Filed under Thrash Metal

Tracklist

1. Cosmic Cortex (10:23)
2. Echoless Chamber (5:15)
3. Dying World (5:19)
4. Tetrastructural Minds (5:21)
5. Venus Project (6:47)
6. Dark Creations, Dead Creators (5:21)
7. Fast Paced Society (6:45)
8. Outer Isolation (8:28)

Total Time 51:43

Line-up/Musicians

- David DiSanto / Vocals, Guitars
- Erik Nelson / Guitars
- Blake Anderson / Drums
- Frank Chin / Bass

About this release

Heavy Artillery Records, November 22nd, 2011

Fast Paced Society, Venus Project and Tetrastructural Minds were re-recorded from Demolition.

Thanks to UMUR for the addition

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VEKTOR OUTER ISOLATION reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

Warthur
An intriguing technical thrash metal banquet from Vektor, Outer Isolation's secret ingredient is the influences from black metal the band weave into their sound - the most prominent example of this is in David DiSanto's screamed vocals, but DiSanto also weaves in the odd guitar solo here and there which sounds more like the sort of thing you'd hear on a black metal album than in a thrash context. Indeed, the overall impression is if a black metal lead guitarist/frontman had wandered into a thrash trio's rehearsal session and decided to help them turn things up a notch. A fun album, though I don't think it's an instant classic.
Conor Fynes
'Outer Isolation' - Vektor (8/10)

Vektor are one of those bands that have been inspiring excitement since they first began releasing music. With vicious musicianship, complex composition and a futuristic sci-fi theme, Vektor recall the glory days of Voivod. Although I rarely call myself a fan of thrash metal, I fully admit that I jumped on the fan bandwagon shortly after hearing their debut, 'Black Future'. 'Outer Isolation' is now the band's second full-length effort, and here they have emphasized some of the things I liked so much about the original, namely their technicality and progressive approach. Sure enough, Vektor have proven that they aren't simply a one-album wonder anymore.

Voivod, Watchtower, and Coroner are all bands that pop into mind when listening to Vektor. As part of this thrash revival movement that's been going on over the past couple of years, Vektor have chosen to represent the technical end of the genre. Although the music here can be just as fast as your typical Slayer song, there is alot more going on in terms of musicianship. With particular regards to the guitar work, there is an impressive attention to keeping things complex. Best of all, the band sacrifices none of their intensity as a result. What we have ultimately is a band manages to take the thrash aggression and marry it perfectly with progressive ambition.

A staple of Vektor's sound has always been the hear-it-to-believe-it voice of frontman David DiSanto. His vocals usually take one of two forms; either a black metal rasp, or an ear- piercing falsetto. The raspy vocals generally take up most of the time, but it's when DiSanto uses his range where it becomes easy to be impressed. The vocals this time around do not have the same shock value as they did on 'Black Future', and though DiSanto attempts to broaden the scope of his vocals with some half-hearted cleans, part of what made DiSanto's vocals so intense on the debut was that they were fresh. Here, the vocals are still spot-on and impressive, but it's largely the same tricks that were pulled with the debut.

'Outer Isolation's musical complexity and technical approach to thrash metal is a bold and consistently impressive achievement. Although it may not be as instantly exciting as 'Black Future', it's definitely a musical improvement over the predecessor, sharpening their musical skills and upping the techy direction to new extremes. If there are any complaints, it would be that each of the songs sound too much alike; although each is immaculately performed and brilliantly composed, the speed and intensity feels somewhat like deja vu by the time this album is over. Regardless, I think the most important thing here is that Vektor cannot be considered anymore to be a band who put out one great album, but rather an act dedicated to releasing consistently impressive music. Without a doubt, this is one of the greatest thrash albums of the new millennium.
Phonebook Eater
7/10

"Outer Isolation" is one of the best Thrash Metal records of the last few years.

One of the most acclaimed Thrash Metal bands of the last few years, Vektor wowed plenty of Metal fans with the 2009 release 'Black Future', and was a tough one to follow. However, 'Outer Isolation' comes pretty darn close, showing that this band has no intent to slow down. This latest release is easily one of the great monsters of modern Thrash Metal, this said by someone who isn't exactly a fan of the new wave of the genre.

'Outer Isolation' from the first seconds of play is an album that loves to experiment with a somewhat spacey theme, not only in the lyrics but also in some futuristic sounding samples of machines and electronics. This is probably what makes the album very original sounding. But 'Outer Isolation' is also extremely violent, thrashy, in your face, and fiercely technical. Each one of these songs is extremely complex and flows in such a way that maximum attention is required. In one song, it feels like the band is constantly throwing at you different riffs, all of them pretty much face melting. The technical side of the band is quite impressive, each musician is incredibly skilled, to the point that saying this is Technical Thrash Metal is very much accurate.

Even after repeated listens, however, many parts here are very hard to follow, and everything passes by quite quickly, and by the end of the song, you won't remember all of the things happened. It gets almost frustrating at times, but knowing that every single note of a song was enjoyable ends up compensating the frustration somehow.

Examples of such sort of tracks are all over the place, starting from the ten minute opener 'Cosmic Vortex', mixing space ambience with fierce Thrash and tons of time changes. The two following song 'Echoless Chamber' and 'Dying World' are not only extremely fun to listen to but also have excellent ideas and riffs within them, maintaining that technical feel in every note. 'Tetrastructural Minds' and 'Fast Paced Society' seem to be not only two of the best pieces of the album but also the easier ones to get into, while the more complex songs 'Venus Project' and the title track actually feature more variety in the sound, both of them being more open towards doing slower moments or strange, low toned vocals.

An album very hard to get into, but when it reveals itself it's a wonderful joy of a Thrash Metal record, one of the best of that genre of the last few years. Essential listening for Thrash Metal fans.

Members reviews

Vic
With a (slight) dose of hyperbole, the "New Wave of Thrash Metal" scene, disappointingly often, sounds as if someone has placed inside a blender many different, tasty dishes (Metallica, Kreator, Exodus etc), blended them to the point of mush and emptied the result on a plate with a Repka cover and a Nuclear Assault logo. It can be very tasty, no argument there but how many times can you take the same thing? Let me put it in a different way. Masturbation is highly amusing but if you want to have children, you need someone else who is not you. Because thrash has stagnated and I don’t know for how much longer we’re gonna have albums like The Gathering, M-16, Tempo of the Damned or Ironbound to save the genre. We (as in we, the thrash fans) need new blood to take things forward and out of their boundaries, just like it happened back in the day. And no, The Haunted and Lamb of God or The Blackening (Machine head), no matter how great, are just not the same thing.

All that weirdness of an intro because I'd like to make some bold statements now. The first is that Vektor is the best thrash metal band right now out of all the new ones, meaning all bands formed from 2000 onwards. On a personal basis, I mean out of all those who were formed after the 80s. Which is not as bold as it sounds, it rather says more about the state of thrash metal the past 20 years. The second statement is that Black Future and Outer Isolation are respectively the best thrash metal albums from a band that did not record in the 80s.

We’re talking about infernal thrash metal that dips its toes into the technical death metal of the 90s pioneers, the black metal of later-era Emperor, progressive music regardless of age, which manages to sound incredibly coherent and hyper-intense at the same time. It’s not always the catchiest mix and apart from some dynamites, their songs (on Black Future included) need friction, repeated listens. Some songs (again from both albums), no matter how enjoyable – and they are, do not commit to memory without intensive listening sessions and that is the small issue that deprives them of the 0.5 for the perfect ten, which it has already gained in my fan’s mind, just like its predecessor.

The other small issue is the vocals. You are either gonna love the voice of mastermind / composer / singer / guitarist David DiSanto (right away or with a little getting used to it) or you’re going to say “leave it”. It’s a mixture of Chuck Schuldiner of the Sound of Perseverance era, with a rabid Schmier-of-old elations, Insahn grating, that belongs to the frontman of a black thrash band in a filthy club on Mos Eisley, Tatooine. I loved it from the very first moment but it’s definitely the deal breaker here.

If none of the above phased you, dive in. Cosmic Cortex, in ten minutes (of the catchy variety) had me noting “album of the year?” But when Echoless Chamber kicked in, along with the subsequent repeats in numbers I hadn’t reached in years, I simply erased the question mark. I dub it the “hit song” of the album, half mid-tempo, nightmarishly delicious with its robotic sinister groove, it breaks out at the two minute mark in the best speed/thrash metal I’ve heard in a long time. And in the middle of all that mayhem they throw in a pure melodic prog metal section as well (always full on frenzy of course).

Expect to hear a band amazingly tight, where every member is a highly-skilled player. Compositions that are bold, fresh and perfected, whether they are the proper versions of their demo songs (for the fans: oh, they are, Fast Paced Society has blackened a bit but it rips and Tetrastructural Minds has achieved godly status), or new material that is burning hot. You will also find grand moments in the self-titled song, which combines speed metal with black metal of the most epic intentions.

Finally, two words about the production. Excellent. Modern, highly serving, crystal-clear, powerful and most importantly, original and anti-plastic. The more deathly awesome the album is, the more the sound resonates with life. Vektor has already taken a prominent place in the scene, two consecutive awesome albums have always been excellent credentials in thrash (think about it). Looking at the appetite and determination that DiSanto and the rest of the guys exert however, I think we haven’t even started yet.

Check also: Aspid - Extravasation (1992) - Russian tech-thrash, very obscure, very much worth it and a crucial element to the Vektor sound.

Note: This review originally appeared in the Greek Metal Hammer magazine (December 2011 issue). This is a (clumsy) translation.
kluseba
After an already promising first strike, Vektor make another step forward with the release of their second professional full length output.

The band focuses even more on their technical qualities and a strong progressive touch in their music that have some similarities to many famous progressive extreme metal bands such as Absu, Opeth or Voivod. Especially the calm and introspective songs like "Venus Project" create a chilling contrast on this record to the wilder and spacier tracks such as the amazing "Fast Paced Society" or the great album closer and worthy title track "Outer Isolation". The only weaker tracks are in the beginning of the record as they are rather traditional straight forward blackened thrash metal songs that don't exploit the whole talent and creativity of this promising band.

Musically, there are a lot of positive elements to discover on this record. The vocals have improved since the last record and sound more controlled and yet diversified. The singer always convinces when he experiments a little bit with his voice as in the album highlight "Fast Paced Society" that sounds a lot like Voivod. In general, the vocals sound blackened but sometimes also quite spacey and vary from wild and somewhat repetitive shrieks to great and energizing blackened thrash vocals.

The guitars are simply amazing on this album. They deliver us sharp and simple riffs that you won't forget but also quite strange and discordant sounds that fit the lyrical topics in an excellent way. The riffs are always atmospheric and create a lot of images in my mind, especially in the calm or mid-tempo instrumental passages.

The bass guitar is very dominant on the record which is a very positive thing and adds a dark and uneasy feeling to the entire sound complex of the Arizonan band. Even though the bass guitar fits to the drum patterns and the weird guitar riffs, the sound of the instrument is quite distinctive and has an original touch. I would like to listen to more metal bands that use the sound of a bass guitar in such a great way as Vektor know to do.

The drumming is also flawless on this album and varies a lot without using too many blast beats. From pitiless speed rhythms in the thrash passages to tribal sections in some song introductions or the use of cymbals in the calmer and progressive tones and middles parts of the tunes, this record includes a whole variety of different techniques and manages to never get boring on one side but also to not sound too head struck and technical on the other side.

In the end, this is a very solid record from a technical and creative point of view. The only thing that I criticize are the first three songs that can't keep up with the amazing rest and the fact that the band failed to write a catchy killer track that really stands out and might be easier to approach than the rest. This album requests a lot of concentration, patience and time but is worth to be discovered. If the band manages to write a hit and leave out the simple thrash tracks in the beginning of their records, they might soon create a masterpiece and get the attention and feedback they already deserve from the metal scene to play in one league or take the heritage of Absu, Voivod and the other big names.
optisailor2002
Bored of all the old-school thrash metal revivalist bands, hearing of Vektor's debut full length album Black Future last year, a charming take on old school thrash metal with a more modern vibe, was definitely welcoming, with that album taking the metal world by storm, and many claiming it to be a masterpiece that the metal world has been waiting for. This year sees the band releasing their long-awaited follow-up album, Outer Isolation, and it definitely leaves one to wonder if the band is able to meet the high expectations that are placed upon them.

Album opener Cosmic Cortex puts the listener in the right setting, bringing the listener to a futuristic setting as a clean guitar line intro comes in, uncharacteristic of the band's style as presented on Black Future, but nevertheless ensures that listeners are kept interested in what the band has put in place. As the rest of the instruments enter, the improved and fuller production quality in the music becomes immediately apparent, and this is a nice touch to the music of Vektor and brings out the essence of the music more fully than before. The introductory track already gives listeners what to expect for the rest of the album to come, with the odd time signatures that the band loves playing at, and the technical display on the individual instruments promising a fun ride for technical metal junkies. It does not take long before vocalist David comes in, and his screechy style of vocals is immediately recognisable, providing a different sound to the band compared to other thrash metal bands.

Each and every instrument present on the album deserves a good listen to, considering the amount of effort and thought that has seemingly been placed on every note by guitarists David and Erik, bassist Frank and every hit on the drums by Blake. Drummer Blake especially caught my attention, with his effortless transition between drumming styles, from a simple beat to a sudden blast-beat section to a simple beat again on tracks like Cosmic Cortex, and also through the complex foot work despite the seemingly simple beats on his arms. Guitarists David and Erik also constantly litter the music with lots of lead guitar lines, and unlike many who overdo this, the band puts in just the right amount, ensuring that not a single moment is left over-saturated with ideas, choosing instead to spread these out over the whole course of the albums, serving listeners their ingenuity in bite-sized chunks. The fact that for the most part of the album, the two guitars are doing different stuff also keeps things interesting, making them stand out from their numerous other thrash metal counterparts. The guitarists also display their versatility, playing in a whole range of different musical styles, and this can be seen on songs like Tetrastructural Minds, probably one of the most melodic songs that the band has written thus far.

One thing that is noted here right from album opener Cosmic Cortex is that the band, on this record, has chosen to slow down slightly, compared to the urgency that is present on their debut, Black Future. Songs like Echoless Chamber even sees the track travelling at a mid-pace tempo for at least half the song before picking up to their usual speed, showing that the band is more than just speed and wankery. While the slowdown in their speed certainly put me off slightly, the album began to get more enjoyable as it progressed, picking up speed as it went along to satisfy the demands fans of the band's older material, with songs like Tetrastructural Minds sounding like it could come off Black Future. Of course, having these slower moments and progressive moments does not mean that the band has forsaken their original thrash metal roots, as references from various thrash metal acts can be found throughout the album, managing to capture the attention of and satisfy old school thrash fans as well.

With Outer Isolation, Vektor has perfected the art that they have crafted with their debut album, Black Future, and watching the band progress and transform (slightly) has definitely been a satisfying experience, and definitely leaves one craving for more even after numerous listens on loop.

Originally written for http://www.heavymetaltribune.com/

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