Released: 2010, Infernö Records
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
From the depths of South America, from Chile, comes Vastator whose 3rd full-length studio album, titled MACHINE HELL is a pretty sweet kick-ass release.
I would call this stuff lightly prog-ish Speed Metal that falls somewhere into the same cauldron where bands like Helstar and Sanctuary have both sucked some of their musical ingredients from; plus add a healthy dose of early Priest and Maiden into this opus as well to get a better idea how Vastator pretty much sounds like.
There´s a solid balance of slower and faster parts in the songs of MACHINE HELL, giving a good amount of variation for the band to step out from the dark like a shining diamond. I really happen to like the way their songs tend to flow. It does not sound forced one bit but has this vibe of natural flow sort of synchronized into all of them. Vocalist Nelson, however, was the one who really caught my attention by his excellent vocal skills. In the title track he truly managed to capture my ears from the first moments he started using his voice – reaching a high-pitched register very soon, and also oddly sounding amazingly close to Rob Halford´s vocal performance in a song “Saints in Hell” off Priest´s STAINED CLASS album. He´s just incredible, I think.
The production on the album is relatively raw and unpolished, which supports the songs perfectly in my opinion. All instruments is equally audible too, and I am especially happy to hear Peyote´s kinda tricky bass lines coming to the surface on this record every now and then.
Honestly, the whole album offers a very enjoyable listen from start to finish. There´s not one single thing on MACHINE HELL that I personally would like complain about just for the sake of finding something to complain about. MACHINE HELL makes a great wholeness for what it is – and for those people into a more progressive orientated Speed Metal (very much akin to Helstar especially), I bet this album ends up on those people´s shopping list very soon. But then again, being this greatly done record, I have a firm reason to believe it will also find its way to many CD racks of many other metal heads outside of the slightly progressive Speed Metal box.
Try this – and be eventually surprised by the enthralling greatness of it.