Sunday 11 October 2015

V / VEGA - Leaving Lyra EP


1. Lyra
2. The Grand Declaration
3. Wandered
4. Reaching Eden (Feat. Jerry Roush)

I've tried to keep myself up to date with the ever shifting musical climate in 2015. I still read physical magazines like Decibel and Maximum Rock n Roll to see the bands they're tipping. I find that in most of the metal mags, they seem to rave about the same bands, as if they're just following each other instead of making their own minds up. Therein lies a perfect example of the flexibility you get if you write yourself and have the wherewithal to search and dig around yourself. I appreciate that people have busy lives and having your minds made up for you in the form of printed magazine reviews is easy, but there's none of that magic feeling that you get when you personally go out to discover a band that later becomes your favourite.

That paragraph leads me on nicely to this review. Amongst all of the big-money produced US bands and the exotic bands from far flung countries, the UK ain't doing so bad when it comes to producing world beaters of it's own. The depth and variation of British bands has always been talked about and is something that we hold dear, so it's up to bands like V/Vega to uphold that tradition. They released their debut EP Nostalgia in June 2014 and it's taken just over twelve months to release their second, via UK label Crooked Noise Records. Not only that, but they've managed to enlist the help of some high profile guests on both EP, with Nostalgia including guest vocals Daniele Tofani (Hope Dies Last) and new EP Leaving Lyra featuring Jerry Roush (ex-Of Mice & Men/Glass Cloud). They play what is described as ambient/alternative metal, but that could mean anything really.

V/Vega has just rounded out some live dates in the UK with Japanese metallers Cyclamen and on hearing EP opener Lyra, it’s obvious that they fit in perfectly alongside the progressive nature of band that band as well as Tesseract,  to name a few. The music they play isn’t just concerned with a standard set rhythm and their clean vocals give them approachability, even though they have an aggressive edge and do use screams as well. It’s a pretty soaring opener  and it shows that they want to make an impact. There’s plenty of crunching bass on The Grand Declaration, while the lead guitar does create plenty of ambient melody. They do both introspective and all-encompassing very well. V/Vega also steer clear of the usual cliche of trying to sound too much like Meshuggah and forego the whole Djent thing in favour of a sound that’s more original. I’m all in favour of that. Listening to Wanderer gave the same goosebumps that listening to Faces Of Eve gave me, while the hardcore at the start of EP closer Reaching Eden is a real shot in the arm. The added crunch that Jerry Roush’s harsh vocals really add another dimension to it and it seems that V/Vega wrote this song more with him in mind, which is perfectly understandable. Leaving Lyra is written with accuracy and impact in mind. The production and mastering give it more of a cinematic sound and the whole EP is a great listen. 

Leaving Lyra is available for streaming and download via the usual sites.

CD's and merch can be purchased via Crooked Noise Records here -

Crooked Noise Records Facebook -

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