VERTEX (Stephen Pearcy) – Vertex (1996)
Stephen Pearcy of course is best known as the original lead singer of Ratt, but all over his 45+ year career he has also fronted several short-lived bands, including Arcade, Vicious Delite, Firedome, Crystal Pystal, Vertex and others. As requested, here’s the self-titled and only album he recorded in the Nineties with VERTEX.
After Arcade, Pearcy formed VERTEX in 1995 with excellent guitarist Al Pitrelli (Savatage, Alice Cooper, Danger Danger, Great White), and oriental drummer / electronic producer Hiro Kuretani.
At the time, Pearcy wanted to do something different musically, also Pitrelli. The ‘industrial metal’ sub-genre was the ‘new thing’ at the time, and they met Kuretani who was an expert in electronics. The result was “Vertex”, an album mixing aggressive vocals, abrasive guitar riffs/solos, and pulsating beats.
This musical style is far from what we feature here in this website, however “Vertex” not only is interesting or a curiosity to explore Stephen Pearcy’s rare facet, but also to listen to something refreshing.
While some songs are quite experimental, others are very commercial. ‘One Like A Son’ as example, is a really good tune!
Overall, the music on “Vertex” has a dramatic, dark, and sometimes turbulent sound to it. When hearing Stephen’s voice it sounds to me like he was voicing different characters in a (mature viewing) feature length animated movie. In ‘F.T.W.’ for example there is something about his voice that reminds me of a Humphrey Bogart gangster movie.
In fact, the recording is a concept album with a single narrator, chain of events and re-occurring characters.
Vertex was compared with the first Nine Inch Nails, however we disagree. NIN’s Trent Reznor play minor chords which give his music a depressing feel. The Vertex cd is mostly upbeat, using mostly major metal chords.
Alongside guitar, Pitrelli also played keyboard and bass, but legend Bob Daisley recorded bass on tracks “Time and Time” and “Ain’t Gonna Be”. Bassist Robbie Crane (Vince Neil Band, Black Star Riders) was a touring bassist for Vertex, but was not on the band’s album.
One of our favorite tracks here is the almost hypnotic ‘Time and Time’, another good one, where Pearcy’s voice brings to mind Alice Cooper. Also Pitrelli guitar work is captivating, at times adding rare effects creating atmospheres, at others a pedal to the metal full-on distortion. He drops some very good solos all over the record too.
While not for everyone, “Vertex” is worth to check out to discover Stephen Pearcy’s are side – also Pitrelli’s – doing industrial rock/metal. The album was released in 1996 and shortly after Pearcy re-joined Ratt, hence Vertex disbanded.
Rare, interesting stuff.
01 – Follow
02 – One Like A Son
03 – Synthetic Flesh
04 – F.T.W.
05 – Time And Time
06 – Is Justice Your Peace?
07 – Fight
08 – Ain’t Gonna Be
09 – Mother Mary
10 – Core (Ver. 1.2.0)
Stephen Pearcy – vocals
Al Pitrelli – guitar, bass, keyboards
Hiro Kuretani – programming, drums, percussion
Bob Daisley – bass on “Time and Time” and “Ain’t Gonna Be”.