Review: VELVET VIPER – ‘Respice Finem’

According to German metal band, VELVET VIPER, you don’t leave before wintertime. Fresh off from their spring released by GMR Music Group, ‘Respice Finem’ is the new album from the German metal band, VELVET VIPER. Formed in 1990 by blues vocalist, Jutta Weinhold, VELVET VIPER released two albums, “Velvet Viper” (1991) and “The 4th Quest For Fantasy” (1992), before the band split up in 1993. It’s been 26 years since VELVET VIPER’s last album and come to 2017, when Jutta Weinhold reformed the band with a brand new line-up. With Fabian Ranft plucking the bass, Micha Fromm shredding the guitar, and rounding up the band is Holger Marx keeping the backbeat on drums, VELVET VIPER is as relevant as ever and they’re ready to concur the metal scene once again.

Before I listened to this album, I never knew that I needed a female fronted metal band in my life. I was ready to let this band into my heart and blow me away. I started the record and it starts out with the song, ‘Don’t Leave Before Wintertime’. An enchanting guitar melody is underneath a haunting vocal by Weinhold. As I get nice and cozy with the smooth beginning, I was petrified once the whole band kicked in. I was not expecting that but it was euphoric for such power the band possesses. Weinhold’s vocals have a nice projection. Her tone is very gritty and is reminiscent of other female rockers of the late 70’s and early 80’s. Marx simplicity in drumming, and not being overly complex just showcases how his style fits the song perfectly. Fromm had a very interesting tone, clean with a slight delay and very little chorus. He plays like this almost through the entire song but once the whole band kicks in, he adds what seems to be very light distortion. The bass is very well mixed on the track. Ranft’s tone is more treble and cuts through the mix much harder and adds more grit to the song. Sonically, the band sounds amazing. I’m getting some great vibes from the songs then the third song comes out of nowhere. The title track, ‘Respice Finem’, is a ten minute epic. The song is very thought out and is very tight. There’s many songs out there that’s over 6-7 minutes but hardly any of them can do it and do it justice. VELVET VIPER brings justice to this epic, 10 minute song. We hardly hear any of Weinhold’s vocals and she gives the newly formed band members their chance to shine. Nothing’s too complex with the solo’s. The drums keep a consistent beat throughout the whole song. The bass is very rhythmic while Ranft takes center stage for his solo’s. I can tell that Ranft is very melodic and bluesy in tone. And out of the controlled chaos, there’s killer organ solo right after the first guitar shred. Very pleased to hear them break up the guitar solo’s with an organ, It gives the listener a moment to realize the pure merriment of this song. That was only the third track, my mind was racing with excitement to hear the rest of the album. As I make my way through the album, I get to the second to last track, ‘Law of Rock’. The song starts off with a riff so heavy that it almost blew up my speakers. The guitar is keeping the deadly riff on point throughout the song. The bass is helping to bring the punch along with the drums. The snare drum is very fat in the tone and the bass drum is punching through my speakers. Weinhold’s vocals are as powerful here as she is throughout the whole album. I can see this being a anthem for them. I can already hear the fans singing Law of Rock right back at them. It’s perfect for getting the crowd rowdy. The whole album is filled with exceptional produced songs. The overall tone of the album is gritty and straight to the point. There’s no fooling around with VELVET VIPER. I would recommend this album to anyone that loves the sound of late 70’s or early 80’s metal. I can tell that Jutta Weinhold is the heart and soul of this band When people say that a band takes off for a few months and then come back and do an album the next year, Velvet Viper takes that to a new level. Go out and get this masterpiece before it’s too late.

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