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Vangough - Acoustic Scars CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.52 | 4 ratings

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kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Honorary Reviewer
4 stars Even before putting this on the player one knows that it is going to be looking back at previous works as it combines the crow from 'Manikin Parade' with the rabbit from 'Kingdom Of Ruin' but what is somewhat unusual for a prog band is that this is fully acoustic, and also that all of the proceeds are going to charity (Heartland Rabbit Rescue in Oklahoma where band leader Clay adopted two rabbits from himself). This has been put out there as a Vangough release, but only singer/guitarist Clay and bassist Jeren Martin are there from the last album, with Corey Mast (keys) and Brandon Lopez (drums) absent but that may well be due to the structure of this album as while there is a percussionist (Kyle Haws) the other musicians are Justus Johnston (violin) and Jose Palacios (cello).

The gentle introduction of 'Leaving Bricolage' with the strings combining with the sounds of crows and a storm leads us into 'A Song For Crows' and a nod back to the debut. This is a wonderful acoustic combination where Clay sings both emotionally and powerfully yet with control and restraint. It is easily one of the best songs they have ever done, just proving that numbers don't have to be bombastic to be effective. I have read that 'Throne of Rusty' contains an acoustic version of a game song, but as with all of the songs on their second album I was too busy playing music to play video games so don't know any of the originals. What I do know is that here they have allowed the violin to take the lead in a wonderfully evocative number that to me always feels like the perfect music to put alongside galloping horses. Then we move into 'The Rabbit Chronicles' which is of course linked to the last album, where yet again Clay allows the strings to take centre stage. I particularly like the way that this one switches emphasis and moves around. The final 'The Road To Blighttown' brings back the crows and the storm as everything winds down.

This is only an EP, but shows just how much the band have expanded their musical outlook in a very short period of time and I look forward to the next album with interest.

kev rowland | 4/5 |


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