The German unit return with full force and detail their gruesome new cover collaboration.
Continuing what proves to be a strong year for speed and thrash metal alike, Germany's VULTURE ready the arrival of their next tortured collection of riffs, the relentless Dealin' Death. Arriving on May 21st via Metal Blade Records, Dealin' Death finds the band building upon the success of 2019's Ghastly Waves & Battered Graves with a musical performance brimming with electricity. On the visual end, Velio Josto's artistic prowess shines once more and becomes an apt representation for the horrific lyricism that lies within. In true Heaviest of Art fashion, we had to go beyond the surface of this audiovisual collaboration.
We had a brief art chat with VULTURE guitarist Stefan Redizoneg about the band's newly unveiled effort with the mighty Velio Josto:
‘Dealin' Death’ has seen the light and like 2019’s ‘Ghastly Waves & Battered Graves’, it comes illustrated by the talented Velio Josto. He also illustrated your debut, 2017’s ‘The Guillotine’. What can you comment about the audiovisual partnership you’ve built with Velio?
Stefan: Velio was our first choice when it came to the cover for our debut EP and he managed to set a perfect mood for the music. He developed some imageries that would become smaller Vulture-trademarks later, if you want to say so. So far, every logo, cover or merch design he's done for us was absolutely killing it.
Would you say that Velio is essentially an honorary member of the band at this point?
Stefan: Haha, to some degree, definitely. He's worked a lot for us and by now definitely knows our logo by heart. He might try and kill us if we ask him to paint that damn thing one more time!
I'm sure he enjoys it! Visually, what were you looking for when approaching him this time around?
Stefan: We said, "Hey Velio, do you know the great movie 'The Pit And The Pendulum' from '61?" He did! We got a little sketch for him as always and his first sketches were already super close to what we had in mind. A giant pendulum over some stone altar, blood flooding a huge cavern-thingy, corpses, torture instruments, all of which are little hints to our song lyrics.
Great source of inspiriation! Like the predecessors, ‘Dealin’ Death’ is true to your thematic approach and carries an 80’s slasher film feel, which fits perfectly with Velio’s art style. Does the art influence in the music in any way or is that element completed after the recording has been done?
Stefan: This time, the artwork was finished before we finished writing the songs, haha. We were very happy and confident with the cover idea so we didn't want to wait longer. As I said before, it's maybe even more 60's/70's charm, but of course, 80's slasher stuff is also a big influence for us and I think also for Velio!
Having interviewed Velio, I can attest to his love of 80's slashers. Partnerships like Iron Maiden and Derek Riggs, Joe Petagno and Motörhead, and Ed Repka and Megadeth have left their mark on metal forever, due in part to creation of legendary mascots like Eddie and Snaggletooth in addition to the fantastic album artwork. As a relatively new band, we’re a long way from comparing you to these, but would you say that you’re building something similar with Velio to the point where Vulture is automatically expected to host a Velio painting with every new album?
Stefan: Yeah, who knows. So far, we're more than happy and as long as Velio's still happy with us, I don't see why we should stop that collab in any way.
Well, we're here for more Velio-illustrated Vulture goodness in the future. Metal is of course a visual genre and speed and thrash metal bands have been at the forefront of delivering iconic visuals that to this day, continue to inspire. In looking back at some of your influences, what are some of your favorite album covers and mascots across time?
Stefan: Tough one! I really dig all that great old Noise-Records stuff of Lawvere, especially the first Deathrow and all the Kreator stuff. It's all got a load of contrast and is very colorful without having this strange hyper realistic touch. That's the way to go!
Dealin' Death arrives on May 21st via Metal Blade Records. Stream the lead single Malicious Souls below and pre-order your copy of the record HERE.