Germany has long been a giant in the heavy metal scene, and ever since Accept’s debut just over four decades ago, Germany has proven to be one of the most consistently influential driving forces in the genre. Turbokill have joined the fray with their full-length debut Vice World, and they are as worthy a band as any to carry the torch of heavy metal forward. Now the members have all been involved in other projects prior, so it should come as no surprise that they are as competent as they are. Still, it’s fair to say that even for a band of seasoned professionals, they are head-and-shoulders above a good chunk of their peers.
If you’ve listened to a lot of German heavy metal (especially releases from the eighties) it’s awfully tempting to put a lot of it – maybe even most of it – in the category of Accept clones. Turbokill isn’t just another Accept worship band, though. Sure, you’d be daft not to notice the influence, but you’d be equally daft not to notice all the others. You can hear bits and pieces of their Teutonic heritage all through this album. You have the rabid and ferocious riffs of Running Wild, the pristine and soaring vocals of Scanner, and even the melodic sensibility of Blind Guardian. And although not a German influence, there is the song “Global Monkey Show” where the band seem to be channelling nineteen eighties Guns N’ Roses. The final result is a well-polished and finely-machined slab of metal, hurled at your face with the precision of an Olympic archer.
But the best thing about this record isn’t the solid riffs, the angelic vocals, or the keen melodies; it is its pure inventiveness with respect to the construction of each song. Far from being a one-trick pony with a solid single or two and a bunch of filler – or worse yet, a band that recycles the same material on most of their songs – Turbokill have an astounding variety throughout, with their strengths showing on nearly every cut. It’s nearly impossible to name a highlight track because each one is as strong as it is unique. This is what kept me listening intently each time I played the album through. Sure, the dual lead guitars and the flashy solos are great, but neither of those by themselves are enough to keep me interested.