Velvet Viper – Respice Finem

Album Review by Rainer Kerber

The singer Jutta Weinhold enter since 1969 the boards, which mean the world. It all began with roles in the musicals “Hair” and “Jesus Christ Super Star”. Since then, the music will not let her go again, whether with their own Jutta Weinhold Band, Amon Düül II or as a guest musician with Udo Lindenberg. Everywhere her clear and powerful voice resounded. With the concept of the fictional daughter of the Flying Dutchman Zed Yago she developed the genre of Dramatic Metal decisively. Between 1988 and 1992 five seminal albums were published with the bands Zed Yago and Velvet Viper. Although it afterwards something quieted down around the singer, the legacy of Zed Yago lived on. During performances with their band JWB, the acoustic riots or even during their musical reading, the songs from the late eighties and early nineties were heard again and again. During this time, Jutta also produced a few more albums, but did they not reach the awareness of the early works. Well, 26 years after “The 4th Quest For Fantasy”, the singer dared a new beginning. The third Velvet Viper album was released with young musicians. Listen to it in “Respice Finem” (lat. Look back at the end).

It’s certainly not common to start a Metal album with a ballad. And that is exactly what Velvet Viper do on their current album. Not quite true. A little later, “Do not Leave Before Wintertime” becomes a “real” rock song. What has always impressed me about Jutta Weinhold is her clear and powerful voice. Of course, this can also be heard here. While bassist Ron Oberbandscheid and drummer Micha Fromm provide massive sound pressure from the speakers, guitarist Holger Marx shines with ingenious guitar melodies. The shortest song of the album is a more than successful prelude. Amazing riffs and a majestic pounding rhythm characterize “Shadow Ryche”.

The overlong title song “Respice Finem” (10:14) is a real sound monster. After a quiet beginning, in which Jutta’s voice sounds almost fragile, follows a monumental anthemic epic, as there is hardly a second. Incidentally, “Respice Finem” is the short form of the well-known quotation “Quidquid agis prudent agas et respice finem” (“Whatever you do, do it wisely and look back at the end.”). It could go back to the fable 45 of Aesop.

This is followed by Rock Blast (like “Fraternize With Rats”), epic masterpieces (“Eternally Onwards”, “Stormy Birth”), and the power-ballad “Ogaydez”. And the straight rock song “Law Of Rock” with its catchy singalong chorus is live certainly one of the highlights. That’s powerful hard rock and metal peppered with grand choruses, but without overdoing the bombast. Traditionally, Velvet Viper also process a classic figure from literature or music. So also, on “Respice Finem”. The last song of the album is dedicated to “Lohengrin” (opera by Richard Wagner). Next to the title song, the second monumental epic of the record.

Even after repeated listening of “Respice Finem” want to fall on my knees still in awe. What Jutta Weinhold and her bandmates present here is extraordinaire. The daring experiment to revive the dramatic metal of Velvet Viper after more than a quarter of a century has been completely successful. A big part of that has certainly Producer Kai Hansen (Gamma Ray), who has give the compositions a traditional but extremely fresh metal sound. I had the pleasure to witness the live premiere of the album and band in Hamburg and was completely thrilled. I can only recommend every Metal fan to buy the album and enjoy a live show from Velvet Viper.

Velvet Viper – “Don’t Leave Before Wintertime”:


Jutta Weinhold – Vocals
Ron Oberbandscheid – Bass
Holger Marx – Guitar
Micha Fromm – Drums

Label: GMR Music Group

Out: March 16th 2018

Duration: 01:00:22

Track list:

  • Don’t Leave Before Wintertime
  • Shadow Ryche
  • Respice Finem
  • Fraternize With Rats
  • Eternally Onwards
  • Ogaydez
  • Dangerous
  • Raven Evermore
  • Stormy Birth
  • Law Of Rock

Rating : 10/10

MHF Magazine/Rainer Kerber


Disturbingly Good


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