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Velvet Viper: Respice Finem

I’m not sure many of us foresaw the unheralded return of Jutta Weinhold, the front-woman who helped propel Zed Yago to near stardom back in the 80s, before forging a path of her own in the oft overlooked Velvet Viper. Now, some 26 years after the latter’s second album, the double V is back, albeit with a completely rejigged line-up, which sees only Weinhold herself return. Famed for her charismatic vocal delivery, that positively dripped with a confident booming bombast, the singer appears to have aged not a day in the years since we last heard from her and this all new Velvet Viper outburst, Respice Finem, benefits hugely from it.

Produced by Helloween/Gamma Ray/Unisonic man Kai Hansen, it would be more of a surprise if this full force collection didn’t scream Teutonic Metal at the top of its lungs. And as such you can expect much in the way of marching beats, chest hammering anthems and gargantuanly gigantic backing choirs as this uncompromising beast comes to life. “Eternally Onwards” is proud and bold as it crushes all in its path, while “Ogaydez” is much more pensive, if no less powerful in its lumbering attack. However, it is the thump and shout of “Shadow Ryche”, where Weinhold truly unveils a trademark bark, that sets this album’s bar highest. That said, “Respice Finem” itself may well be the grandest piece on show, as backing voices create a mighty swell and, especially at volume, make the hairs on the back of your neck positively bristle.

With the assembled band of guitarist Holger Marx, bassist Fabian Ranft and drummer Micha Fromm full of the feisty fire that fuels this beast, Velvet Viper live up to their name and provide a killer caress that completely convinces. Early visits may find Respice Finem feeling a little stand offish and aloof, but let the slow grind of “Raven Evermore”, dramatic pule of “Law Of Rock “ and melodically menacing “Dangerous” and its Jon Lord-like keyboards get their fangs into you and shaking off this Velvet Vipers’ venomous bite proves nigh on impossible. Hopefully Respice Finem is just the start of a new beginning!

Track Listing
1. Don't Leave Before Wintertime
2. Shadow Ryche
3. Respice Finem
4. Fraternize With Rats
5. Eternally Onwards
6. Ogaydez
7. Dangerous
8. Raven Evermore
9. Stormy Birth
10. Law Of Rock
11. Loherangrin-Lohengrin

Added: June 24th 2018
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Velvet Viper @ Napalm Records
Hits: 278
Language: english

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