Leaving Lyra is like a newly discovered dish which lies on the tongue very nicely on the first mouthful, but it is in the after taste and subsequent eager snacking that its full range of flavours escape to thrill and seduce the taste buds into having another bite, and then another. So it is with the new EP from British progressive metallers V/ VEGA, a release which pleased on the initial listen but continues to reveal new creative spices and textures to simultaneously and increasingly impress at the same time. Elegant and warm, fierce and volatile, the EP’s quartet of songs challenge as they entice and enthral, each a tempest of sound and emotion which only leaves an appetite for more.
Hailing from the eastern county of Bedfordshire, V/ VEGA emerged in 2014 with a sound which we earlier stated as progressive metal but in truth it is a tapestry of styles and flavours across metal and rock. Band inspirations include the likes of The Dillinger Escape Plan, Dance Gavin Dance, Karnivool, and Periphery amongst others, they alone a clue to the diversity involved within the sound and now EP from the quartet. Making their live debut in the June of last year, V/ VEGA have hit the live scene with hunger, sharing stages with bands such as Shields, Giants, Canvas, and Create to Inspire whilst earning acclaim and potent reputation for their craft and explosive performances. The well-received release of debut EP Nostalgia, also out mid-2014, whipped up further attention, including that of Crooked Noise Records who now nationally release Leaving Lyra. It is easy to expect bigger spotlights and reactions to follow in the wake of the new EP’s unleashing, an assumption quickly in place after that initial listen and only cemented thereon in.
The song Lyra starts things off, it’s opening ambience of brewing intrigue sparking the imagination with ears swiftly involved as atmospheric melodies and invitingly agitated rhythms unveil their suggestive prowess. The vocals of Jim Dummer firmly engage and impress just as quickly, his soaring tones backed well by Tom Williams whose guitar enterprise alongside that of Edd Durcan, similarly spins a web of emotive and at times tempestuous persuasion. Outbreaks of heavy and voracious crescendos only add to the drama and lure of the track, raw antagonistic growls emerging from either Dummer or Durcan to drive the ferocity which manages to potently align with and be entangled in the melodic charm colouring the warm landscape of the encounter.
It is a thickly enjoyable opening to Leaving Lyra which continues with Grand Declaration. Straight away the track is badgering ears with the hefty swings of whoever is at the drums and the carnivorous tones of Josh Levy’s bass. Simultaneously melodic flames and clean vocal prowess wrap the twisting grooves and sonic tendrils that vein and spear the keys spun ambience which, as in the opener, adds an ethereal breath and climate around the stormy heart of the song. Even more than its predecessor, the track is a maelstrom of ideas and textures which may need time to reveal its depths but only with increasing rewards for the time offered in return.
Wanderer follows and swiftly flirts with djent seeded technical adventure within another ferocious expulsion of dark metalcore like antagonism. After another mournful yet inflamed breath, the band slips into a melancholy washed calm which subsequently embraces fearsome volatility, an progressive wind, and corrosive malevolence, in time all fusing into one rich confrontation. It is a mouth-watering proposition which again needs time to be explored before announcing itself as the best track, if only by a slither or two such the quality throughout Leaving Lyra.
The EP comes to a fine close with Reaching Eden, a song instantly gripping ears with its opening bait of riffs. Featuring the potent tones of Glass Cloud front man Jerry Roush, the song is a rousing and fierce blustery wind of sound and emotion, but also unafraid to drift into ambience clouded calm spun by technical tempting, flowing harmonies, and emotional reflection. Everything is seamlessly involved; what came before and is to follow fluid with the now within the track, uniting for a constantly contagious and raucous cacophony of vocal and emotive animus driven magnetically by the rhythms. Like Karnivool meets Periphery meets Bring Me The Horizon, with a healthy wash of Between the Buried and Me too, the song is a dynamic and wonderfully testing finale to a continually impressing offering from V/ VEGA.
With the band still barely into its second year, it is easy to think this is only the start of bigger and bolder things for and from V/ VEGA. A smile is breaking out at that thought.
Leaving Lyra is available from October 2nd digitally and on CD via Crooked Noise Records.
Pete RingMaster 02/10/2105
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright
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