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Vektor: Black Future (Heavy Artillery)

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At this point, the thrash resurgence seems never-ending. But one small label has it down pat, scooping up young, ambitious, intelligent metal bands that honor yesteryear's greats while striving for a semblance of originality in a genre that blew its wad 25 years ago.

New York's Heavy Artillery Records recently signed Tempe quartet Vektor, who worship at the Canadian sci-fi prog-thrash throne of Voivod. While not as groundbreaking as Voivod's '80s discography, Black Future is solid front to back, bristling with laser-focused riffs and lyrics ripped from old issues of defunct science mag Omni. Consider "Deoxyribonucleic Acid," which boasts lyrics like: "Laboratories experiment / with the limits of our will / But there are endless ways to justify / If we can, we will." Or try "Accelerating Universe," which warns of "dying systems pulled through a void" should an experimental particle generator go haywire.

Guitarists David DiSanto and Erik Nelson are shredders of the highest order, taking songs like the apocalyptic "Asteroid" (about an impending meteor impact) into frighteningly proficient territory. DiSanto's vocals go from guttural to falsetto at the drop of an arcade token, while drummer Blake Anderson and bassist Frank Chin aren't afraid to push back with plenty of technical ferocity.

If you ever need an album to spin during a fantasy-film marathon (to cover up the cheesy dialogue of Krull, say), Black Future will make you feel 16 again.

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