Visions of a Parallel World


"Visions Of A Parallel World" is the second full-length album from the German blackened thrash […]
June 5, 2023
Speedwhore - Visions of a Parallel World album cover

"Visions Of A Parallel World" is the second full-length album from the German blackened thrash metal band, SPEEDWHORE. It was recently released on the record label, Dying Victims Productions. The production style is raw, giving the music an old-school feel. I feel like there's a tad too much reverb on the guitars and that causes the notes to run together and sound muddy. This is no doubt a feature of the aforementioned raw production. "Matriarch," the opening track, gets off to an evil start with the lead guitar playing high notes and some back-masked vocals before the track kicks in. The vocals are all over the place, ranging from low growls to ear-piercing shrieks and wails. The instruments play fast and loose, oftentimes overpowering Tim's lower vocals. This leaves his KING DIAMOND-style wails as the most audible aspect of his vocal delivery. While I can appreciate the callback, the wailing tends to be a bit much for my liking.

"Clutch Of The Sea" begins with the clanging of a bell before the lead guitar comes in playing an early SLAYER-inspired riff. On this track, the vocals even take on the character of Tom Araya's earlier stuff. The hook is catchy, but the vocals are still too low in the mix. Also, the lyrics are overly simplistic, with Tim repeating the track's title ad infinitum. The guitar parts are well-written and engaging more often than not, but they have trouble competing for status within the raw mix. The fourth track, "Hologram," starts with a driving guitar riff that pulls you in. Tim's title-repeating is especially egregious in this case. He does say the title in several different ways across his range of growls and shrieks. By the time the song's final verse came along, I was ready for the track to be over. There's an excellent part where the guitar plays some galloping triplets, a metal trope that gets me going every time.

The last three tracks are somewhat of a triptych of sorts. "Decrypted Prophecies" gets the ball rolling with a clean guitar intro. Along come some droning background vocals to make things sound more sinister. In this case, Tim's vocals consist of barely audible low growls. Their sound ups the evil ante well, but, once again, I would like for them to be louder. Eventually, the speed metal playing ensues before some more low growls round the track out. The next track, "The Last Bulwark Of Man," begins with zero delays and the entire band is going all out with plenty of speed. This song is devoid of wails and screeches, making it my favorite on the album. The chugging guitars are welcome, but I get the impression that the vocals and each instrument are all competing for space. Everything sounds muffled. I say that with the caveat that I'm just not a fan of deliberately raw production taken to extremes.

The title track is the third part of this set. It's a long one, clocking in at seven minutes and forty-two seconds. The song begins with a nice, quick, chugging riff that evolves into the entire band playing at breakneck speed. Just when you feel like you've had all you can take, they up the speed ante even further. Then along comes some low growls punctuated with wailing. I just can't get past the raw, sudden, high-pitched shrieks. On this track, however, Tim shows that he has lots of vocal range in between the highs and lows. This is a dynamic song and it is presented well. The guitars and drums sound excellent. I couldn't hear much of a bass guitar presence on this or any of the other tracks on "Visions Of A Parallel World."

Overall, this album is a mixed bag and this review may even be tainted by my distaste for the vocals and overall production. Your mileage may vary.Speedwhore - Matriarch (Visions of a Parallel World 2023) - YouTube

5 / 10









"Visions of a Parallel World" Track-listing:

1. Matriarch
2. Lion's Gate
3. Clutch of the Sea
4. Hologram
5. Golgotha
6. Heir to the Ruby Throne
7. Decrypted Prophecies
8. The Last Bulwark of Man
9. Visions of a Parallel World

Speedwhore Lineup:

Marcel - Drums
Alex - Guitars
Tim - Bass, Vocals
Leo - Guitars

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