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Review: Space Vacation - Cosmic Vanguard
Space Vacation
Cosmic Vanguard

Label: Pure Steel Records
Year released: 2014
Duration: 44:07
Tracks: 11
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 4/5

Review online: February 8, 2015
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers Rating
Cosmic Vanguard

Rated 3.58/5 (71.67%) (12 Votes)

I am all-in with the early 80s/NWOBHM revival, from original bands getting back together to newer bands rocking it old-school. That makes it kind of surprising that San Francisco's Space Vacation slipped under my radar with their first couple of records. 2014's Cosmic Vanguard is the first I've heard from this oddly-named quartet but if the quality contained within is any indication, I need to go back and listen to their previous works.

As I said, this is early 80s with the twin guitars and galloping bass of Iron Maiden's first few albums the prime reference point. I'm not sold on the vocals or the vocal lines as both are kind of generic but the riffs are fantastic and the solos amazing. There are some great speedy tracks like "More Is More" and the album highlight "Say My Name" that will have you playing air guitar in no time. "Witch Wizard" gives the bass free reign and you can picture Steve Harris nodding along in time with the beat. The mid-tempo stuff, like "Get Down," is a bit more pedestrian and sounds like something you might get from White Wizzard or ZUUL. Not bad but not as good as some of the other stuff on the album.

Overall, Cosmic Vanguard is a fine slice of 80s worship and should please fans of early Iron Maiden as well as current bands Enforcer, Katana and the like.

2/7/15 edit: so this isn't my first time hearing Space Vacation as I reviewed their Heart Attack album back in March of 2013, but that just goes to show how much better Cosmic Vanguard is. And no, don't bother going back to their previous works.

Other related information on the site
Review: Cosmic Vanguard (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Heart Attack (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Lost in the Black Divide (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Lost in the Black Divide (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
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