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Vertical Alignment - Signposts CD (album) cover


Vertical Alignment

Symphonic Prog

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erik neuteboom
3 stars This new USA progrock formation features members from other USA progrock bands Salem Hill and Glass Hammer. The music on this debut CD is pleasant, melodic, accessible and modern sounding synphonic prog with the focus on the vocals and the lyrics (about the Titanic, God, the Roumanian dictator Ceausescu and 9/11). But the integration of vintage keyboards (frequent sound of the unsurpassed Mellotron and fat Minimoog) and the often fiery guitarwork colours Vertical Alignment their prog very tasteful. The climates range from dreamy with acoustic rhythm guitar and piano to compelling and bombastic with lush keyboards and howling guitar runs (like in the long tracks Freedom Calls with duo- keyboards, Rented House and Kingdom Of Summer with a beautiful final part delivering choir-Mellotron and a sensitive guitar solo). This CD doesn't contain complex or surprising prog but it sounds very pleasant and tastefully arranged, during the long running time of almost 80 minutes I kept my attention for Vertical Alignment their music on this promising debut CD. My rating 3,5 stars and .. recommended!
Report this review (#122194)
Posted Tuesday, May 15, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars Oh no. Why did I buy this ? I wanted to try something new I guess. What a deception. Vertical Alignment sound very close to Kansas. That's okay but there's nothing new or different except for the exceptional lyrics. Now what I mean by exceptional is that this is definitely Christian rock and the lyrics that go with it. I think I've had enough of these because of Neal Morse's last couple of albums but Signposts really, really annoyed me. So be warned !
Report this review (#128995)
Posted Tuesday, July 17, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Vertical Alignment was a US-based group formed by 70's Prog enthusiasts with strong links to Christian Progressive Rock.Jim Braunreuther (vocals, keyboards), Monty Pierce (guitar, bass), Mike Adams (drums), Terri Jorgensen (bass) and Pete Jorgensen (vocals, multiple instruments) made up this great company of musicians and recorded their debut album ''Signposts'' in 2006.The album features a huge guest list, including Fred Schendel, Steve Babb and Eric Parker, all members of Glass Hammer, Kevin Jarvis from Farpoint, Carl Groves of Salem Hill, Will Henderson from Ajalon and Randy George, both of Ajalon and the Neal Morse group.The album was released privately the same year.

''Signposts'' is a great example of solid, rich and melodic US Symphonic Rock with the occasional modern lines of a Neo Prog act, delivering full respect to the music of the 70's and adding a personal touch in the lyrics.The impressive line-up eventually resulted a fantastic album, obviously containing echoes from the music of GLASS HAMMER, AJALON and SALEM HILL with also some links to European bands such as EGDON HEATH or AGENTS OF MERCY.The music is always performed with passion, strong sense of melody and dynamics, offering very good instrumental workouts, memorable melodies, compact songwriting and pompous keyboard solos.Although having a strong symphonic flavor of the past akin to YES, KANSAS and BABYLON, the album is mostly performed on synthesizers, but there are also plenty of Mellotron showering and light organ moves throughout.The talent of Vertical Alignment is especially emphatic in the long tracks, like the 16-min. ''Freedom's call'' or the 12-min. ''Rented houses''.Very good Symphonic Rock with some acoustic flavors and series of outstanding melodies, complex twists, unexpected breaks and bombastic interplays.The shorter tracks are also competent and intricate with a convincing balance between harmonic tunes, lyrical expressions and fiery instrumentals, characterized by a huge number of changing climates.

History prooved that the band released one more album in 2009, ''Lost in space'', available via their official site, which went under the radar and has become extremely rare.In 2013 an announcement on facebook marked the end of their history with the members focusing on other projects.Mike Florio was the lead singer of the group during its last sessions.

''Signposts'' remains a must-have for all fans of contemporary Neo/Symphonic Prog.Full of orchestral keyboards, sharp interplays and striking melodies, it will satisfy also any fan of the nostalgic era of Progressive Music.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

Report this review (#1136046)
Posted Sunday, February 23, 2014 | Review Permalink

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