When: Wed., Feb. 24, 7:30 p.m. 2016
Vektor will release Terminal Redux (Earache) in March, nearly five years after their previous album, Outer Isolation. That sort of wait between records is often a symptom of a lineup overhaul, but these Philly-based sci-fi thrashers are still the same band that put out Black Future in 2009. Terminal Redux took so long to write because all four of these guys have full-time jobs—and because they’ve packed a staggering volume of data into the record’s ten songs, which total a frankly exhausting 74 minutes. The mental discipline required simply to commit this material to memory for the stage suggests an inhuman order of intelligence—on their Facebook page, Vektor like to address their fans as “feeble Earth beings.” They spangle their frenzied, heart-attack-intense thrash riffing with impossibly rapid upper-register ornamentation, hurtling through knotty song structures whose melodies and countermelodies crisscross and leapfrog each other—it’s hardly catchy stuff, but it’s engrossing, and even if you can’t follow a song’s development, you’ll notice when it builds to a blinding, breathless climax that leaves the air swarming with afterimages. Front man David DiSanto mostly shrieks like a vacuum cleaner full of sand (his few attempts at proper singing aren’t worth discussing), and the warp-speed guitar solos spiral and swoop like incandescent hummingbirds—I don’t dare guess how many hundreds or thousands of times these maniacs had to rehearse each one to make it feel so liquid and effortless. The music often evokes the mind-destroying speed, vast emptiness, and lonely beauty of space travel, and on “LCD (Liquid Crystal Disease),” a breakdown takes the form of a sassy unison melody hocketing with a chugging low note that pocks it like the missing bits in a high-speed digital transmission.
Price: $25, $22 in advance