VELLOCET, Captive of Reality (1986, Snake)

The skull:
Eclipsing its sun, this planet-skull is about to be utterly bombarded by meteors, from all sides, at once, and he looks pretty fucking bummed about it. Here he is, thinking he’s just about settled into a stable orbit, ready to grind out the eons in peace, when all manner of interplanetary debris falls into his gravity well. “It would be one thing to endure a comet here, an asteroid there, but this is just fucking ridiculous,” thinks the lonely planet. But hey, cheer up: you might get a sweet Saturn-style ring out of the deal.

The music:
As the sticker proclaims, Vellocet features ex-VKJ members, which means fuck all to me. VKJ were evidently some kind of punk band, which makes sense, because Vellocet are straight-up crossover, but unlike some of the later bands in the style, it sounds like Vellocet arrived at the sound naturally. They probably just got heavier and heavier as a punk band until they basically turned into thrash. In particular, I can hear an undercurrent of early 80s British post-punk, like Killing Joke or New Model Army, informing the Vellocet sound, which distinguishes them from the better-known crossover bands who seem to have listened mainly to LA and NY hardcore. This is probably a bit too punk for me overall, but I like this considerably better than most crossover, and I’ll take this in a second over any of the jokey party thrash bands that are turning up every day in the wake of Municipal Waste’s success. The vocals are awesomely German, and the sound is beautifully 1986: I wouldn’t be surprised if Harris Johns were involved. This album appears to have resisted reissue so far, so if you’re the kind of thrash kid with a brand new upturned ST hat, this would be quite the feather to stick in it, to impress your jaded scenester friends who think they’ve heard it all, from Toxic Holocaust to Skeletonwitch.
— Friar Johnsen