Vektor – “LCD (Liquid Crystal Disease)” (Stereogum Premiere)
Vektor’s forthcoming third LP, Terminal Redux, is pure fire: unreal thrash riffs ripped through the veil of space-time, like a last-ditch transmission from a dying planet shot through a wormhole at ludicrous speed, piercing the heart of the sun and tearing out the other side — sound transformed into perfect destructive force. Forgive the hyperbole; If I sound overexcited, it’s because we haven’t seen extreme thrash this vital in decades. Actually, with few exceptions, thrash in 2016 is pretty much dead; what little there is leans hard toward slavish retro-fetishism, more about tones then tunes. Meanwhile, this Philadelphia quartet can write and play circles around their peers. The guitars are godlike, spinning off in contrails of creative expression without sacrificing impact, pairing the progressive leanings of Watchtower, Atheist, and later Dark Angel with the blunt force of Kreator and Destruction, with just a whiff of the kind of earworm thrash melodies you rarely see outside the first four Metallica records. But more important than their influences is what the band does with them, and Vektor channel an impossible amount of talent and ideas into actual songs: chord progressions resonate on an emotional level even while they dazzle with harmonic complexity; rhythmic shifts increase tension, generating forward motion through a constant headlong tumble; riffs fly by at warp speed, but nothing is wasted, everything serves some greater purpose.
And we’ve got a track from Terminal Redux to premiere for you today. “LCD (Liquid Crystal Disease)” starts strong and practically explodes by song’s end. The first half starts with a frenzy of high-speed shred riffs, but the band is only warming up, still building momentum. At the three-minute mark, we hit a detour: a chunky, stuttering syncopated breakdown, like a hologram version of Voivod covering Slayer, nerdy and tough at the same time. At the five-minute mark, the song just fucking bursts into flame like a meteor hitting atmosphere: the double-bass kicks like a Gatling gun and the guitars lash out at full force, laying waste to everything that’s come before… and the song only gets better from there. I could go on. You should listen.
Vektor’s Terminal Redux is out 5/6 via Earache.