Vangough - Manikin Parade (English version)

Kev Rowland

ImageLike many other progheads, one of the sites that I visit fairly regularly is Sea of Tranquility (as well as MLWZ, Silhobbit etc). While I many not always agree with everything that they write it gives me an additional insight into the scene, and I know that they are not prone to hysterical outbursts. But when they start an interview with the comment “Vangough is probably the best Progressive Metal band you'll discover in 2009” one has to wonder on what basis do they make that comment? Well, I am currently listening again to the evidence and in all fairness I have to agree with them. This is prog metal of the highest quality; it certainly doesn’t sound like a debut as this is melody, musicianship and class all rolled into one – the end result of which the only thing that the listener can do when it finishes is to hit the play button yet again.

Only one song can remotely be said to be lengthy, and that is not even ten minutes so in terms of the genre what we have here is short and punchy. The vocals are strong and the production clean with the music twisting and melding its’ way through gentle piano balladry and harmonies while they can suddenly go into full on metal with the guitar riffing and the band in full flight. I have had this CD for a while and each time I play it I find something new here to enjoy. It is of no surprise to me that it is rated so extremely highly by sites such as Amazon, yet this isn’t the latest release from ProgRock Records or InsideOut, but rather is an independent release. Singer and guitarist Clay Withrow has a strong vision that drives the band far beyond one would normally expect from a debut. They claim that they “spit fiery madness by drenching your ears with a purple sunrise of melodic cocaine and a not-so-subtle approach to reading you the story behind today’s headlines.”

And do you know what? They do all that and more. If you enjoy prog metal then you need to have this CD. Nuff said.

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