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Vanexa - Too Heavy To Fly

Too Heavy To Fly
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 22 February 2017, 3:48 PM

VANEXA is a prominent Italian Metal band born of the NWOBHM sound in the late 70’s and early 80’s. Following the release of three studio albums between 1983 and 1994, they have been inexplicably silent until the title track from “Too Heavy To Fly” was released in 2015. They are back now…thrust into a world of Metal that is vastly different from their hey-day. This always makes me cringe somewhat. Will they embrace the modern times with renewed vigor and creativity, or pick up where they left off as if time did not pass? Let’s get to the ten-track album and hear for ourselves. The title track is indeed indicative of the latter. It’s straightforward, riff-driven Hard Rock, with a linear connection from verse to chorus and repeat. It really is “too heavy to fly” in terms of it never really gets off the ground.

“Life Is A War” is unfortunately more of the same. The chord progressions are odd for me and thus the melody harder to comprehend. The softer guitar passages are interesting and reminiscent of GREAT WHITE and the like, but from there the interest drops. “Rain” wallows in mid-tempo woe, being thoroughly indicative of a sound that just doesn’t offer anything unique in the Rock and Metal scene of today. “Tarantino Theme” has a greasy biker riff that snarls well though it is not something that you haven’t heard before. I appreciate the ode to the filmmaker as interesting lyrical matter at least. “Kiss In The Dark” has some personality and some genuine emotional qualities that seem to come from the heart. It’s still pretty simple in terms of structure and doesn’t have much punch, but it’s tender and memorable.

They close the album with “The Traveler.” This is the kind of song I’ve been waiting to hear on the album and for me is the best track. Though that mid-tempo pace is just very sufferable, the song has a nice dark quality that draws you in. They keys are a nice addition as well. This is a song I can more easily get behind. Overall, I get that there is a resurgence of that Classic Metal sound, where the movement first captivated the world with this very vital scene, but that was and should stay yesteryear. Fans of the band and the Classic sound will find things to their liking here, but I don’t think it’s going to gain many new ones. This could very easily be material composed in the early 1980’s and even then, it would take a back seat to some of the NWOBHM bands at that time in terms of creativity. Live long and prosper and keep doing what you love, but there is no time to live in the past.

Songwriting: 4
Originality: 3
Memorability: 3
Production: 7

2 Star Rating

1. Too Heavy To Fly
2. 007
3. Life Is A War
4. Rain
5. It’s Illusion
6. Tarantino Theme
7. In The Dark
8. Kiss In The Dark
9. Paradox
10. The Traveler
Andrea “Ranfa” Ranfagni – Vocals
Artan Selishta – Guitars
Pier Gonella – Guitars
Sergio Pagnacco – Bass
Silvano Battari – Drums
Record Label: Punishment 18 Records


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