VINDICTIV – World Of Fear (2015)
Sweden’s VINDICTIV is back with their new release “World Of Fear” released by MelodicRock Records. It’s the band fourth release, the first since 2013’s Cage of Infinity and also the first to feature awesome singer Mark Boals, who is currently doing bass duties in Dokken on the road.
Boals is and always has been one hell of a singer and his pipes are a welcoming addition to the melodic metal / hard rock sounds of VINDICTIV.
The first two VINDICTIV releases featured the golden-throated Goran Edman, but you don’t miss him here as Boals is perfectly suited for the band’s style.
“Prophecy” opens the album with a heavy and unrelenting riff where Boals voice soars over it. While the heaviness of the song is present, a melodic side shines through and it’s a good precursor of what’s to follow on the rest of the record.
“Why” continues the powerful yet melodic vibe with another riff-based tune and the sounds of Dream Theater from their Images & Words period starts to bright through. The keyboard work on this song is special and very Kevin Moore-ish.
The record takes an even more melodic nature on “Paralyzed” with a catchy chorus as Boals vocals glow even more than they have so far, and again I find myself impressed with the keyboard work of Pontus Larsson (and company).
VINDICTIV does a great job of meshing the heavy and melodic sides of metal, spiced with a hard rock pulse. I don’t want to go any further without mentioning the speedy fretwork of Stefan Lindholm, who keeps pace with the frantic keyboard work and is equally impressive every step of the way.
“Clay” toughens things back up with a heavy riff and some totally impressive guitar soloing. Petrucci-esque guitar tones find their way into the mix of “Day”, and Boals turns in an especially impressive vocal on the track while pushing his voice into the higher registers. The song has a very melodic chorus just like “Paralyzed” and it makes for another memorable track.
By this time in the record you expect either a great guitar or keyboard solo (or both) within the song and you get that yet again.
Title track “World Of Fear” continues with the melodious feel where Boals brings his vocal into the James LaBrie territory (or for a totally left-field comparison I even hear shades of Nick Workman of Vega). I’m very impressed with Boals’ performance on this record, like in the finest moments of his career.
“Till The Dawn” eases up and finds the band in a more melodic rock territory, at least until you get to the soloing . Let’s just say John Petrucci would be proud and I really like the extended guitar/keyboard play on this song.
“Dead Men” brings back the heaviness but still retains melody, then “Wall of Pain” continues along the same path with the heavy yet melodic approach. The band chose to cover the Yngwie Malmsteen instrumental classic “Far Beyond The Sun” and they give it a more than faithful run-through. Lindholm does a terrific job on this extremely complex composition.
Even though the “World Of Fear” album is not exactly a progressive record I still come away with many comparisons to a time when Dream Theater leaned towards a more accessible sound, as I hear a lot of Images & Words on this album.
There’s a heavy approach in VINDICTIV, and that they certainly are, but the catchy choruses and excellent melodic vocals of Mark Boals ties it all together to make for an enjoyable listen for metallers, prog-heads or melodic rock lovers alike. Not strange MelodicRock Records is releasing “World Of Fear”.
06. World of Fear
07. Till the Dawn
08. Dead Men
09. Wall of Pain
10. Far Beyond the Sun (Yngwie Malmsteen cover)
Mark Boals – Vocals (Iron Mask, Dokken, ex-Royal Hunt, Yngwie)
Stefan Lindholm – Guitars (Firecracker, ex-Endless Circle)
Pontus Larsson – Keyboards (Firecracker, ex-Pork Barrel)
Nalle Påhlsson – Bass (Therion, ex-Treat)
Marco Minnemann – Drums (Steven Wilson, Joe Satriani Band)
Mark Basile – Keyboards
Mats Olausson (RIP) – Keyboards
thanks to Mark Balogh for the words
BUY IT !