Vertigo Steps - The Melancholy Hour review
|Album:||The Melancholy Hour|
|Release date:||December 2010|
01. The Spider & The Weaving
02. Vacant Stare
03. Desperation Lair
06. Under Burning Waters
07. Reel World
08. Through Sham Lenses
09. Red Haze
10. Redemption River, Dividing Ocean
11. Sweet, Sweet Rain [Gene Loves Jezebel cover] [bonus]
12. Burial Light
In The Melancholy Hour, Vertigo Steps take a plunge into the depths of melancholy, where they will get closer to themselves as a band. The previous Steps To Vertigo seemed to be a foundation for them before they took off and reached a higher plane.
It feels as though this album is a natural development for the band and not any sort of regression; on the contrary, The Melancholy Hour has more memorable moments, which adds more value to an already inventive debut release.
This album has a bit of everything: diversity, melody, heavy moments, mellow sounds and dark ambiances. On this second chapter of the band's discography, their sound is more evolved and they pay a lot of attention to details in the arrangements and melodies of the songs, just listen to "Through Sham Lenses" with guest vocals by ex-Green Carnation Stein Roger Sordal and "Burial Light." Also, the progressive approach seems to be more present as the songs often mold into new forms, uncovering more layers.
Being faithful to the chosen title, this album is very emotional. The songwriting skills of the brain of the band (Bruno A.) and Niko Mankinen's vocals contribute to that effect. In fact, Niko's voice shines brightly throughout this musical journey. It does so because it is very expressive and brings the songs to a whole new level.
The thing with Vertigo Steps is that they take all of the influences they have and use them creatively and it sounds fresh because the band has a well-defined personality. We even get a little bit of the Porcupine Tree flavor in the instrumental song "Redemption River, Dividing Ocean." Also, their different take on the song "Sweet, Sweet Rain" ends up being a high note on the album, comparable to what Nevermore did with the song "The Sound of Silence," making it their own.
Ultimately, The Melancholy Hour proves that the self-titled album Vertigo Steps wasn't a work of beginner's luck or a momentary flow of creativity. The quality is there. Granted, the singer may be Finnish, but Vertigo Steps is one of the most creative Portuguese bands of today.
Highlights: "Through Sham Lenses," "Inhale," "The Spider & The Weaving," "Red Haze," and "Silentground."
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