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Vortex - Lighthouse Award winner

by Kyle Scott at 13 February 2019, 12:45 PM

From some far, off shore island stands an immovable lighthouse battered by waves and unnoticed by most ships. Who resides in it? Let VORTEX weave the tragic tale. A Melodic Death band familiar with creating concept albums in the past (The Asylum) has released their sixth full length album The Lighthouse back in December of last year. Symphonic tones merge beautifully with wailing guitar riffs and thunderous drums in a storm of terrible and wonderful fury of the gods. VORTEX’s very name sums up the unique blend of complex sounds they’ve taken time to master.

Sweeping, classical interludes offer respite from the pummeling storm of hailing guitar riffs and battering drumlines. Both “Offshore” and “Conscription” hold quite an intimate, if violently unpredictable, energy that has the power to instill a feeling of being both charged and centered. It effortlessly channels NE OBLIVISCARUS’ Portal of I in the dramatic folk violin overtones meeting heavy Death Metal vocals on “Lighthouse Part I”. Dramtic synthesized beats rain down heavy on “At War” alongside the merciless pummelings of a kickdrum that ends with clear skies and a dower tone at observations of the gruesome aftermath and how quickly were forget what happens when we make men kill each other. Lonesome violins whining in minor keys follow the rest of the songs’ outros like on “Strategy of Terror” and the heartbreaking “December of 1941”. These quiet, introspective intros and outros from the violence between them like weaving in an out of terrible memories; like someone suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress reliving the past while in a (most like self-imposed) exile.

The final track, “The Lighthouse (Part II)” takes its time with the final story, flinging notes wildly from a violin with an almost celebratory air, only to quiet down at the presence of a forlorn flute. The song bends to the unrelenting memories that still haunt and destroy, still drowning and surfacing in choppy seas of violent thoughts. The Lighthouse is a weary, battered thing with many a story locked up within its mysterious tower.

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 9
Memorability: 7
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

1. Lighthouse (Part I)
2. Offshore
3. Conscription
4. At War
5. Battle of the Atlantic
6. Strategy of Terror
7. December of 1941
8. Funerals
9. Last Moments of War
10. The Exile
11. The Lighthouse (Part II)
Simon Desjardins - Bass
Justin L. Dube - Drums
Mathieu Duguay - Guitars
Alex Labrie - Vocals
Dany Levesque - Guitars
Record Label: PRC Music


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Edited 06 June 2023

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