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Vega – Anarchy And Unity

Anarchy And Unity
by Frank Dashwood at 19 December 2021, 7:00 AM

I’ll just start by saying that this was a good album. It’s not the best, and I had some problems with it, but nothing a dedicated listener couldn’t get over. I want to call it “rock”, but some bits are “metal”. I want to call it pop, but it’s not that either. I think what bothered me the most about this album is that I felt that it was like a kaleidoscope of genres. There are instruments that aren’t customary to rock, or metal, there are hooks from all over the musical landscape, there are Michael Jackson riffs, and over all of it ripping fucking leads. Such diversity can culminate into a solid product unto itself, but whether that was achieved in this album I’ll leave it to the listener to decide.

“Beautiful Lie” kind of put this album into the “rock” category for me. And, I’d have been happy to leave it there, save for the leads at around 2:00. Then I’m like “glam-metal”? I mean, because it jumps from KENNY LOGGINS “Dangerzone”/MICHAEL JACKSON “Bad” (even had a flourish of synth drums in there at the end of a verse, or two) straight up to EXTREME “War Heads” in a chorus. “Sooner Or Later” matched tempo out of the gate, and then notched it up a setting on the dial, not encroaching on “metal” per se, but certainly re-affirming my feeling that this fit into the “rock” genre….and then the leads break in at 2:00 screaming “I’m too good/technical for this song…”.

“Live For Me” was one of those that really dropped this out of the “metal” category for me. There are some really good parts to it, but the long slow verses really broke my enthusiasm for the sweet leads, and powerful lyrics. I’m sure on someone’s scale, the piano parts were crucial, but I could have taken them more seriously if played on acoustics. “C’Mon” had a few parts like that. It’s not poorly produced or anything like that, just elements that for whatever reason stuck out to me, that seemed like they’d have been better attributed to other instruments. Other than that, both songs were actually well produced, with clearly discernible layering. Meaning I can pick out an instrument, and follow along with it, without it’s parts being crowded out of my attention by another player.

One thing I really enjoyed about this album was it’s positive messages. With songs like “Bring The Riot”, “Kneel To You”,  and “2Die4”, I felt a bit like these were guys who’d been through a lot, and were still standing tall, with a stiff upper lip. While investigating this album, I discovered that these guys are actually kind of big, and have in fact been around for a while. With this being their 7th album, I was kind of amazed I hadn’t heard any of it before. It made it clear to me why this was such an odd album to review. I mean, it’s good music, but some of it, I felt like they literally stuffed “everything” they could into it. Like it was a little “over-produced”. I’d attributed it to their being from the UK, but in retrospect, I think it’s a product of experience in the studio, and song writing.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 4
Production: 6

3 Star Rating

1. Beautiful Lie
2. Sooner Or Later
3. End Of The Fade
4. Ain’t Who I Am
5. Welcome To Wherever
6. Bring The Riot
7. Live For Me
8. Kneel To You
9. Glow
10. C’Mon
11. Had Enough
12. 2Die4
Nick Workman - Vocals
Marcus Thurston -Guitars
Billy Taylor -Guitars
Tom Martin - Bass
Pete Nodeck-Drums
James Martin-Keyboards
Record Label: Frontiers Music


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