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Vicinity - Recurrence

by Jean-Francois Poulin at 30 May 2017, 2:17 PM

This is the second full-length release by the Norwegian Progressive Metal band. Clocking at almost 70 minutes, it was a daunting task to listen to it in one sitting.  I listened to it twice in one week and even after two listening session at work, I couldn’t remember much of the album. Nothing strung a chord with me and I thought the album was easily forgetful to be perfectly honest. I thought musically it was quite good, nothing I haven't heard before and I still the genre very much after discovering it in the early 90's with bands like DREAM THEATER. I always thought the order through chaos of the genre was something I truly loved and appreciated, even more when the years passed.

Musically I would say its very similar to the first few REDEMPTION albums. Solid work but lacking the proper production to make it meaningful and powerful. I am not criticizing one of my favourite bands but their lack of great production is a deterrent, a big one. You can hear the guitars pretty well and the keyboards are at the forefront of some songs. For the rest of the instruments, they feel left out and underutilized. It felt rushed to be honest, I don't know if it was really the case but I thought it was an uneven production. It definitely hurts the overall value of the album in my eyes. One thing I truly loved on this album is the aforementioned keyboards. I thought they sounded a lot like the work of Arjen Anthony Lucassen on the various AYREON albums throughout the years. The sound is crisp and I thought they sounded so much alike. I love AYREON so this was something I truly loved to hear throughout this album.

Only six songs on this album and most of the songs clock in at more than eight minutes. The songs are way too long, seriously, they could have done a much better album by cutting the fat on some of this songs. Especially ''The Long Goodbye'' that is over 20 minutes. They may be long but they don't have the epic feeling on long songs, especially in a genre that has a boatload of long songs. They seem to drag on and at some point, you just lose interest in the song and go listen to the following song. It's that simple, it doesn't attract the proper feelings from the listener. You have to grab hold of the listener so he doesn't want to let go, isn't that the basis of a song. Something that reaches out and grabs you? Anyways, I felt the songs fell really flat even though musically it's pretty good.

Ok, let's face it, I need to talk about the vocalist. Oh boy, where do I start? I feel the intention is there but man oh man the singer lacks the chops and emotion for the genre. He seems like he is going through the motions and shows little or no energy on the tracks. He does seem to get out of his shell on ''Extinction'', their best track but as for the rest, he is simply boring. You need a great singer for Progressive Metal, you need someone that drives that passion, that energy. He just doesn't have it, I saw the videoclip and was yawning myself to sleep. He does seem to have a good charisma on the live clips I saw but he lacks the vocal direction to make this band stand out.

A good solid album with a lackluster singer.

Songwriting: 6
Originality: 6
Memorability: 6
Production: 6

3 Star Rating

1. The Unwritten Manifest
2. Phoenix
3. Mountainfall
4. Extinction
5. Immaterial Failure
6. The Long Goodbye
Pierre Nicolai Schmidt-Melbye - Bass
Frode Lillevold - Drums
Kim-Marius H. Olsen - Guitars
Alexander K. Lykke - Vocals
Ivar A. Nyland - Keyboards
Record Label: Mighty Music


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