Review | Velvet Viper – Nothing Compares To Metal
Some two years after the ‘Cosmic Healer’ album German metal outfit Velvet Viper continues their journey with their sixth album ‘Nothing Compares To Metal’. Their singer Jutta Weinhold is the living proof that age is nothing but a number. This bundle of energy has been in the rock and music business for over fifty years. There are plenty of people of her age that have already retired and spending their time looking after grand children or having long lunches but this lady has her mind set on her band Velvet Viper and delivering the best possible metal music.
TRIGGER THE MIND
Jutta has had an amazing musical journey, starting out solo (in the early seventies) but also being the mastermind of the Jutta Weinhold Band and not to forget Zed Yago. She has a specific singing style that has lots of theatrical features and in her own way she sounds quite unique. In fact, I cannot recall or think of anybody sounding the way Jutta sounds. Her lyrics are full of fantasy and are in fact little stories. No, not love stories or themes like I love you baby, but stories with a deeper meaning that give you something to think about. Lyrics that trigger the mind….
Velvet Viper has been a steady band for some time with guitarist Holger Marx being the one writing the music and Jutta writing the lyrics. The title of this album speaks for itself. This album is purely about metal. Sure, the melodic elements are there but in comparison with ‘Cosmic Healer’ the eleven songs on ‘Nothing Compares To Metal’ are louder, more euphoric and above all more consistent. On ‘Cosmic Healer’ some songs were questionable perhaps, but on this new one the band fires on all cylinders.
Although the musical style of Velvet Viper is not so much different in comparison with ‘Cosmic Healer’, there are some major differences that play a key role. First the compositions (almost all between five and eight minutes) have been given a lot more room to breathe and are much more coherent as a whole. Second key factor in the production of the album. After producing their last album by themselves this time Primal Fear and Gamma Ray drummer Michael Ehré joined the band behind the producer desk and that has been a crucial move for the better. Lending a pair of independent ears Ehré is co-responsible for a big and juicy sound. Not only the drums sound powerful, also the guitar sound has gained power and force. At some stages Holger Marx really swings the axe on this album, especially some of the riffs are quite impressive.
As already stated, the songs are quite long, needing according to the band room to breathe. That may be so but the main difference lies in the fact that besides the mid-tempo tracks the band has upped the tempo and has put more drive, force and fantasy into their effort. Yup, this is Velvet Viper at their best coming to full exploitation in quite epic songs like ,,Sorcerer’s Apprentice’’, ,,Heroic Hearts’’, ,,Rise From The Fallen’’, ,,The 4th Part’’ and ,,Blood On The Moon’’ (without doubt one of the most remarkable songs, have a listen to find out what I mean). I have not heard one song that is a dissonant here which speaks for the consistency of the record.
As is not uncommon these days there will be a vinyl version with eight songs while the CD-package will feature eleven songs including a first in the history of the band with a song with German lyrics. ,,Es Kommt Die Zeit’’ adds a new chapter to the story of Velvet Viper although for Jutta singing in her native language is like coming full circle as she started out all these years ago singing in German. You do not believe me? Go on YouTube, type in her name and the song title ,,Cadillac (Fahr Weg)’’ and have a look and listen.
VELVET VIPER – THE CONCLUSION
The conclusion is simple. ‘Nothing Compares To Metal’ is without a doubt the best record in the history of this group. It has all the ingredients the band is known for but with extras added this time. Take a chance and go on that journey through their self-created fantasy world with this remarkable outfit.
Release date: 21 July 2023