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When it comes to contemporary thrash there are few bands that can stand toe-to-toe with Germany’s Vulture. Establishing their status with 2016’s Victim To The Blade EP and 2017’s The Guillotine and cementing their reputation with 2019’s Ghastly Waves And Battered Graves, they now return with the mighty Dealin’ Death, one of the most ruthless records the genre has seen. “Take all our key elements – fierce riffing, halftone-shifts, aggressive vocals, huge toms, changing dynamics, horror-synths and classical twin guitar harmonies and cast it in a mould, then you have Dealin’ Death,” says guitarist Stefan Castevet. “The result sounds a little ‘back to the EP-ish’ to my ears, yet it contains new approaches that we’ve never included in our sound so far, like choirs with harmonies.”

While they remain proud of the mighty Ghastly Waves And Battered Waves they acknowledge it did not come together quite as planned, and this was something they were looking to correct with its successor. “Compared to our first record, we were aiming for simpler structures, bigger choruses and a catchier sound overall. Writing the whole record in a furious six-month period, we didn’t even notice losing track of these goals. The album is an absolute killer dripping with heavy metal mania, but with the complexity, structure and maybe also in terms of its sound it might have confused some.” Determined to achieve everything they set out to with that record, they wanted to make something they would want to listen to as fans, something filled with “bangers and hooks” while exaggerating the trademarks of their sound. Partly written while on tour with RAM and Indian Nightmare, and with everyone involved in the writing process throughout, everything came together easily. Castevet also notes that they finally found themselves making a full-length where they did not feel under pressure. “For the first time since our debut EP we didn’t feel any pressure at all. The whole songwriting process felt very natural from start to finish. There were little to no doubts. Before, may it be with Guillotine or Ghastly Waves I always felt the need to prove myself. With every riff, with every song, trying way too hard to avoid being mediocre, adding yet another riff here, making structures appear more difficult and so on. Not this time. Also for the first time, the choruses sound like real choruses to me and there’s a huge variety when it comes to tempo and styles on the record. We go from super high-speed thrashing to proto metal and back again, while sounding Vulture all the time.” It was also important to keep thrash metal sounding fresh in 2021, which is not something that is all that easy to do. They achieved this by sticking to their guns. “You do it by digging deeper than others may do. You can’t write a genuine record when you’re just trying to recreate Reign In Blood, Kill ‘Em All or Obsessed By Cruelty. We’re enthusiastic in finding out what made these bands make ‘the next step’ in terms of aggression, speed and power. We’ve always had this approach and this has lead us to create a certain ‘Vulture sound’. For Dealin’ Death we started right there, while trying to be a little less ‘try-hard’ in terms of songwriting compared to Ghastly Waves.”

The element of horror has long been synonymous with Vulture and once more takes center stage on Dealin’ Death. From the intro track to the lyrics and the layout they indulged in everything they love about classic horror stories, movies and art. “It’s a niche we feel most comfortable in and inspired by. Working out every little detail is always fascinating, making it feel as authentic as possible while combining it all under the Vulture banner and giving it a new spin,” says bassist Andreas Axetinctör. Drawing inspiration from Edgar Allen Poe’s The Pit And The Pendulum on the title track and the Greek mythos of Medusa inspiring “Gorgon”, “Multitudes Of Terror” is a “quick side-trip into the mind of a person suffering from paranoia”, looking at horror from all different angles. With music and lyrics in place the band headed into the studio, this time the process handled by two separate collaborators, the album recorded at Monkey Moon Studios in Dortmund by Alexander Stöcker, the guitarist of Stallion, while the production was once more handled by Marco Brinkmann at Hellforge Studio. “This cooperation turned out great!” enthuses vocalist Leo Steeler. “Alex’s way of recording and the whole studio atmosphere was pretty motivating and inspiring for all of us. Marco on the other hand knows exactly how we should sound and already became literally the sixth member of the band.” Working twelve-hour days for ten days straight was pretty grueling, their daily schedule “get up, track, sleep”, but the effort paid off. “I think Dealin’ Death is the best we’ve ever sounded. The mix itself is absolutely flawless to my ears,” says Castevet. “It’s way more direct and less reverb-soaked than its predecessor. It was very important for us this time, to take advice from Marco and make all key elements audible for the listener. The vocals sound piercing, the bass is present, delivering warmth throughout the whole mix, and the guitars have the best sound we’ve ever had, and the same goes for drums. It’s very natural and dynamic, but straight to the point.” And now with everything done the band are eager to get it out there. “We can’t wait to get feedback for it, hopefully people will admire it as much as we do! Once this whole pandemic thing is over we also can’t wait to play shows and even tour again. We’ve got many festivals booked for the summer and we really hope they all happen.”

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