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Verse Vica - Endeavor Award winner

Verse Vica
by Matt Coe at 13 October 2014, 8:21 PM

From Asheville, North Carolina, we have an album from VERSE VICA, and their sound is one that fluctuates between Post-Metal and Progressive Metal, which can be very intriguing to a lot of different sub-genres, as you will feel swept away by the diverse arrangements and sounds on display. The key to maintaining appeal is diversity- too many of these acts try to be overly impressive in terms of theory and chops, and thus fail to retain followers who need segments of melody, hooks in either a musical or vocal capacity, which then translates into memorable songwriting.

Immediately noticeable to my ears is the serious fluidity and neo-classical/ jazz-oriented lead breaks both guitarists possess – even throwing down some killer acoustic progressions in the middle of highlight “Ravenholm” that I’m sure in a live setting gain audience approval. The follow up “Marumari” showcases the band’s softer side; building off a couple of echoing, clean refrains. I must applaud the drum programming skills of guitarist Paul Meisner – when you are playing a brand of Progressive Metal that has a lot of off-time / DJent aspects, it’s not easy to think of the right time signatures needed to have the hooks and riffs make sense. Check out “Cities I: Cerulean” and “Djinn” for a lot of dizzying rhythmic action amid the flurry of guitar runs and low-end antics. Spencer vocally keeps VERSE VICA in more of the MESHUGGAH mold over PERIPHERY – but his bark and growls are deathly while not being a serious impediment to the overall listening experience. The playing ability of these axe men is off the charts – Paul and Greg must spend hours locked away in the basement perfecting their finger taps, unison harmonics, circular riffs, and incredible timing through it all. Even the quieter instrumental “Koholint” has intriguing clean guitars that resemble wind chimes going in different directions.

The underground/ independent bands have as much (if not more) to offer than a lot of bigger Metal acts these days. VERSE VICA will be a band making waves, outstanding Modern Progressive Metal with Post-Metal leanings, when you need something to challenge you, excite you, and motivate you – “Endeavor” delivers.

4 Star Rating

1. Airyth
2. Cities I: Cerulean
3. Verdugo
4. Ravenholm
5. Marumari
6. Djinn
7. Koholint
8. Cities II: Saffron
Spencer Brunkhorst - Vocals
Paul Meisner - Guitar
Greg Marcon - Guitar
Tyler Shehan - Bass
Record Label: Independent


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