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Released: 2003, Witches Brew
Vexed hail from Italy and were formed in 1996. The band’s heart is in the right place with their attempts to recapture the 80’s glory days of European thrash metal a la Sodom, Kreator, and Destruction. In the execution of these commendable goals the band fall short of the mark.
My biggest problem with Vexed is the vocals. I love insane screaming vocals like Kreator, but I do not like insane screeching vocals that grate painfully on the ears like fingernails on a chalkboard. Even after listening to this album a few times I could not get past the vocals. The drumming is very well executed and the riffing is also decent, so if you can get past the vocals you might be able to get into this if you are totally obsessed with the early works of the abovementioned bands. The album opens in standard form with an intro called "Nuclear Annihilation". This was perhaps the best moment on the CD with the dozens of huge explosions rumbling away. The first song on here is also one of the better ones. "Nightmare Holocaust" has cool thundering drums, decent thrash riffing, but as mentioned…annoying screamy vocals a little like old Kreator only higher pitched to the point of annoyance. This song also has the “chaotic random note solo” that you’ll find all over old Kreator. The lead playing on here is not all chaos though as the next track, "Deathfire", has a much cooler ripping solo, especially at the beginning. This was actually the best song on the album. The other songs on here that I like include "Death Justice" which is also a little like old Kreator and "Black Cold Eyes". The songs "Collection Blood”, "Bastard Massacre", and "Total Homicide" didn’t grab me at all. The worst song on here is easily "Warcorpsemachine" which is like a 5:24 intro that goes absolutely nowhere. They cover "Blasphemer” by Sodom but it didn’t add anything to the album for me. The album closes with tracks 12 & 13 that are unlisted and are of demo quality.
Vexed show some potential but if I want to hear anything remotely like this I’ll listen to some old Sodom or Kreator. I think the band really needs to look at the irritating vocals and realize that they are putting off some potential listeners. The rest of the band do show the potential required so that’s why I gave the rating of 2/5 which we define as “Has it's moments but not worth buying or owning”. With luck the band with improve things for their next release.
1. Nuclear Annihilation
2. Nightmare Holocaust
4. Collection Blood
5. Evil Command
6. Bastard Massacre
7. Death Justice
8. Blasphemer (Sodom)
10. Total Homicide
11. Black Cold Eyes
12 & 13 unlisted demo quality tracks
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