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Marc Vanderberg - Phoenix From The Ashes

Marc Vanderberg
Phoenix From The Ashes
by Mike "Bitchin" Bourgeois at 28 May 2019, 6:16 AM

RUSH have a song called “YYZ”, and there are about a thousand different performances of it on the internet, but my favorite version is “Live in Rio”. It’s sloppy, far from the perfection that is usually associated with it, but it has passion, and the energy exchanged between the band and crowd make that passion a key ingredient to the amazing performance. Marc Vanderberg’s Phoenix From The Ashes lacks this due to its “perfection”.

Don’t get me wrong, technically it is good, well performed with some great vocals and harmonies, but from the opener “Odin’s Words”, the perfection of the drum and bass machine rob it of soul. Paulo Cuevas tries to inject life into it (and in my opinion he should have been recruited to do the album) and Marc is a master shredder, but bad foundations do not allow anything of consequence to be built. It is too bad, because songs like “Legalize Crime” and “Bad Blood” were pretty good. The lack of energy from the programmed machines really robbed me of the ability to enjoy this album, and the title song “Phoenix from the Ashes” felt like it was pieced together from different songs and joined by horrible machine drum fills. The choice of Oliver Monroe was poor, and the transitions were laboured.

My Darkest Hour”, a power ballad if ever there was one, suffered the most from this computerized symphony. A ballad requires emotion and heart felt playing, and again, Paulo tries his best, but it’s like those “Resident Evil” animations on Netflix, there is no soul in computerized performances. In the end, I was disappointed. It would have been so much better had he had a live band behind him and used one vocalist. The album felt unfinished and mechanical, never really achieving the flow it could have had. At best I’d call it a blueprint, not a full release. I recommend passing up on it. Marc Vanderberg’s Phoenix From The Ashes really didn’t live up to its name, and should be redone with a live band behind him.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 5
Memorability: 6
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

1. Odin's Words
2. Warsong
3. Legalize Crime
4. Phoenix from the Ashes
5. You and I
6. This Romance
7. Warlord
8. Bad Blood
9. Bitter Symphony
10. My Darkest Hour
Marc Vanderberg - Everything
Record Label: Dark Sign Records


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