Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Vangough - Acoustic Scars CD (album) cover



Progressive Metal

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Bookmark and Share
Prog Metal Team
3 stars How do you make a retrospective album without turning it into a best-of release? Just follow this blueprint set by Vangough; release an acoustic EP featuring creative new takes on the albums in your discography!

Ever since the release of their 2009 debut album, Vangough have been releasing a new album every year. After the release of their third album, Kingdom Of Ruin (2011), the band seemed to take 2012 off but right at the end of year came a five track EP. The intro and outro tracks are just that, what this EP is actually about are the three songs in between. A Song For Crows is clearly a tribute to the band's debut album and it's easily the most beautiful track that they've released to date! The acoustic sound of the instruments and Clay Withrow's passionate vocals clearly recall the sound of the Pain Of Salvation classic album 12:5, which unfortunately makes this composition slightly fade in comparison. Still, it's rare treat even by Pain Of Salvation standards, so enjoy this passionate moment while it lasts!

Throne Of Rust is clearly suppose to be a tribute to the band's second album Game On!, featuring an interesting acoustic take on the classic Mega Man tune from Dr. Wily Stage. The Rabbit Chronicles chronicles the band's Kingdom Of Ruin-era with some fun acoustic instrumental intro leading to a somewhat unbalanced mishmash throughout the remaining 5 minutes. The Rabbit Chronicles is unfortunately not as enjoyable for me as the reminder of the album, luckily it doesn't ruin the overall quality of the record as such.

If you're new to Vangough then by all means, give this record a shot! It might not be as passionate as Manikin Parade, playful as Game On! or ambitious as Kingdom Of Ruin, instead it tries to fuse these three qualities into one 25 minute bite size experience!

**** star songs: A Song For Crows (10:24) Throne Of Rust (3:28) Road To Blighttown (2:02)

*** star songs: Leaving Bricolage (1:40) The Rabbit Chronicles (8:24)

Report this review (#904259)
Posted Friday, February 1, 2013 | Review Permalink
kev rowland
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.

Report this review (#904378)
Posted Friday, February 1, 2013 | Review Permalink

VANGOUGH Acoustic Scars ratings only

chronological order | showing rating only

Post a review of VANGOUGH Acoustic Scars

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.