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World of Fear
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Vindictiv
World of Fear
2015
Neo-Classical Metal
Mark Balogh
www.melodicrockrecords.com
www.facebook.com/pages/Vindictiv

Rating:
4.0 Stars

Sweden’s VINDICTIV is back with their new release “World of Fear”. It’s the bands fourth release and first since 2013’s “Cage of Infinity” and also the first to feature singer Mark Boals, who is currently doing bass duties in DOKKEN on the road. Boals is and always has been one hell of a singer and his vocals are a welcoming addition to the neo-classical melodic metal sounds of VINDICTIV. Being somewhat familiar with the first two VINDICTIV releases due to them featuring the golden-throated Goran Edman, I did know the bands’ sound and Boals is perfectly suited for that style having spent many years on and off again with YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, the king of the neo-classical sound.

“Prophecy” opens the album with a heavy and unrelenting riff while Boals voice soars over it. While the heaviness of the song is present a melodic side shines through and it’s a good precursor of what’s to follow on the rest of the record. “Why” continues the heavy yet melodic vibe with another riff-based tune and the sounds of DREAM THEATER from their “Images & Words” period starts to shine through. The keyboard work on this song is special and very Kevin Moore-ish. The record takes an even more melodic turn on “Paralyzed”. The song has a very melodic nature with the chorus as Boals vocals shine even more than they have so far and again I find myself impressed with the keyboard work of Pontus Larsson (and company). VINDICTIV does a great job of meshing the heavy and melodic sides of metal. I don’t want to go any further without mentioning the speedy fretwork of Stefan Lindholm, who keeps pace with the frantic keyboard work and is equally impressive every step of the way.

“Clay” toughens things back up with a heavy riff and some totally impressive guitar soloing. DREAM THEATER influences make their way back with “Day” as the Petrucci-esque guitar tones find their way into the mix and Boals turns in an especially impressive vocal on the track while pushing his voice into the higher registers. The song has a very melodic chorus just like “Paralyzed” and it makes for another memorable track. By this time in the record you expect either a great guitar or keyboard solo (or both) within the song and you get that yet again.

The title track “World Of Fear” continues with the DREAM THEATER feel as Boals brings his vocal into the James LaBrie territory (or for a totally left-field comparison I even hear shades of Brit Nick Workman of VEGA and formally KICK). I’m very impressed with Boals vocals on this record like never before. “Till The Dawn” eases up and finds the band in a more melodic rock territory as they forgo the neo-classic speediness for a bit, at least until you get to the soloing that is. Let’s just say John Petrucci would be proud and I really like extended guitar/keyboard play on this song.

“Dead Men” brings back the heaviness but still retains melody in a DREAM THEATER sort of way while “Wall of Pain” continues along the same path with the heavy yet melodic approach. The band chose to cover the YNGWIE MALMSTEEN instrumental classic “Far Beyond The Sun” and they give it a more than faithful run-through. As if you needed more evidence that Lindholm can hold his own in comparison the (self-exalted) great one then you get it here while playing on MALMSTEEN’s home turf! Rounding the album is the appropriately titled “The End”. It’s just more of the same as you get the chunky and razor-sharp riffs of Lindholm backed with a melodic vocal arrangement from Boals.

Even though the “World of Fear” album is not exactly a progressive record I still come away with many comparisons to a time when DREAM THEATER leaned towards a more accessible sound as I hear a lot of “Images & Words” on this album. They are a self-proclaimed neo-classical band, and that they certainly are but the melodic choruses and excellent vocals of Mark Boals ties it all together to make for an enjoyable listen for metallers, prog-heads or melodic rock lovers alike.

 


 


Band Lineup:
  • Stefan Lindholm Guitars
  • Pontus Larsson Keyboards
  • Nalle Pahlsson Bass
  • Mark Boals Vocals
  • Marco Minnemann Drums
  • Guests:
  • Mark Basile Keyboards
  • Mats Olausson (RIP) - Keyboards

 

Track Listing:
  1. Prophecy
  2. Why
  3. Paralyzed
  4. Clay
  5. Day
  6. World of Fear
  7. Till The Dawn
  8. Dead Men
  9. Wall of Pain
  10. Far Beyond The Sun (instrumental Yngwie Malmsteen cover)
  11. The End (bonus track)




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