|Review: Vindictiv - Ground Zero|
Label: Escape Music
Year released: 2009
Genre: Progressive Metal
Review online: July 13, 2009
Reviewed by: PowerMetal59
Rated 4.2/5 (84%) (10 Votes)
Swedish progressive metallers Vindictiv return with the follow-up to their excellent self-titled debut. Fronted by former Yngwie vocalist Goran Edman, band founder and album producer Stefan Lindholm is sensational handling the guitar duties, while rounding things out we have Pontus Larsson (keys), Nalie Pahlson (bass) and Zoltan Csorsz (drums). As an added variation, Edman shares his vocal duties with guest appearances by Oliver Hartmann (At Vance) and Mark Boals (Yngwie Malmsteen, Ring of Fire). Lindholm's Yngwie-influenced guitar playing serves as the album's chief highlight, but the sound and music is by no means plagiarism in relation to Yngwie's style because Lindholm displays a technique that is individual in nature
The album springs from the gate with the heavy opener "Modern World", featuring a sweet, catchy chorus, which adequately paves the way for the remainder of the album. Now back to the vocals, Goran Edman handles the singing duties on seven of the eleven songs, while Oliver Hartmann is stellar relative to his guest performances on "Reach Out", "I'm Back Home" and "The Sacrifice". The same holds true for Mark Boals on "Venom". The use of alternating vocalists adds exponentially to the overall feel and quality of the album. Adding further to an overall winning formula is the quality songwriting and an epic production job. Those familiar with the debut will immediately notice that the songs are all lengthier and that the heaviness factor has been dialed up a fair amount. However, none of this derails the catchiness of the songwriting, or the superb musicianship on display.
In a nutshell, with Ground Zero Vindictiv deliver to their fans a heaping platter of well crafted Progressive Power Metal enriched with heavy riffs, alternating tag team solos between the guitar and keys, all of which is buoyed by a solid, steady rhythm section. A definite winner! Highly Recommended
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