Vindaloo: Machine Gun 

Seattle crunchmeisters Vindaloo have a new album out called Machine Gun, and as one of the faithful, I have good news and bad news. The bad news is that Vindaloo has narrowed their focus and released an album that is, with the exception of two tracks, not as eclectic as Diary of a Traveling Salesman. The good news is that, if you like fast, crunchy metal and could care less about eclecticism, this disc is for you. There's been a shuffle of the lineup, but Ben Harwood is still leading from the front, and he's moved up his vocal assault a notch with Machine Gun. His power vocals have gained in strength, and he lets loose on "I've Got Your Killswitch You Fascist Mother" and "Green." His bandmates don't hold back either, letting the guitars howl from the first notes of opener "Electromatik Lunatic Dance" with the monster beats right in time courtesy of new addition Jeff Silva. Only on "Evil," which sounds like a lounge-inflected monologue the Lizard King might perform if he were cast in a stage production of The Divine Comedy, and the 18-minute epic "151" does the band explore a different direction than straightforward power chords, and they've lost none of their skill. On the strength of those two tracks alone, Vindaloo might chase other paths in the future, but they've got a future in metal if they want it. Machine Gun is the kind of high-velocity sonic beatdown metal fans love to inflict on their bleeding eardrums, and Harwood and company more than have the chops to pull it off for years to come.

--Brandon Nolta

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