|Vindictiv Ground Zero||Escape Music|
The debut Vindictiv album is only a year old and showed great promise for progressive/melodic metal fans. Back already with album number two, the band's mastermind Stefan Lindholm has blown me away with this new record – far superior to the already impressive debut.|
This is perhaps my favourite heavy music release of 2009 to date! I can't get enough of it and making it even better is the use of two of my favourite vocalists out of Europe – Mr. Everywhere Goran Edman and Oliver Hartmann. Not to mention Mark Boals taking command on the track Venom.
I really hope people give this album serious attention as it is produced immaculately and really does sound a million bucks – and featuring some of the best songwriting for the genre this year (alongside Saint Deamon).
The progressive fills will make Dream Theater fans take note and the lead vocals will make Goran Edman fans weak at the knees and perhaps fans of the many other Yngwie Malmsteen vocalists over the years.
Keyboard parts are equally impressive, with Royal Hunt fans in need of checking this out.
What I like best is the fact each song has a defined chorus and a great hook. This is a supper long record with a ton of trickery and fast playing, but it always comes back to the hooks.
Modern World is heavy and aggressive, features time changes and swirling guitars and keyboards, yet come the chorus it is all melody.
And Ground Zero is even better – this song just kills me. I love it. Heavy, powerful and layered with instrumentation, then a killer chorus in two parts with a soaring vocal throughout.
Reach Out sees Oliver Hartmann return to his metal roots and sounding a million bucks here with another strong chorus and raspy, passionate vocal.
Golden Gate is a near 8 minute track filled with solos and double kick drums, and another chorus that signifies a change of pace and layered harmony vocals.
Venom is almost Royal Hunt in its feel and features plenty of metal riffing.
Tweedledum and Tweedledee talks of contradictions in the lyrics and the same could be said of the song itself. Heavy…yet melodic, progressive...yet straight forward. And plenty of soloing.
The 7 minute plus I'm Back Home features Oliver Hartmann again in fine metal form. Another very melodic chorus is surrounded by double kick drums and prominent keyboard parts.
No track under 7 minutes for the back end of the album, so you can imagine the intensity of the music on hand. Martha's Song is a moody number that gets better each listen as you get to know it; Overshoot Day is a supper complex progressive number with more Goran brilliance; No Matter What is over 8 minutes but almost feels commercial in nature and Oliver Hartmann closes the album with the big metal anthem The Sacrifice.
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