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Released: 2014, Frontiers Records
U.K.-based hard rockers Vega knocked me on my ass with their 2010 debut album, KISS OF LIFE. While not really metal, the album was full of hooks and just enough tasty guitar riffs and solos to make it palatable. Unfortunately I missed out on the band’s second album, 2013’s WHAT THE HELL!, but the band are back and striking quickly with a gleaming new album, STEREO MESSIAH.
Vega has had a significant change in their ranks since their debut, with Marcus Thurston taking over guitar duties from Tom Martin (who has remained in the band as bassist). I’m not sure what prompted the change, but it fortunately didn’t affect Vega’s sound, as STEREO MESSIAH is packed full of the same hard rock that made the debut such a blast to listen to. The twelve cuts offered here are catchy as hell, just heavy enough, and filled with Nick Workman’s powerful, clarion vocals. There’s not a single bad song in the bunch, but favorites would include the driving title track, the sing-along “Neon Heart” and the triumphant celebration that is “The Wild, The Weird, The Wonderful”. To the band’s credit, the track list only includes one true ballad included (closer “Tears Never Dry”), although there are a couple of slower cuts peppered throughout.
All in all, although this album isn’t a huge evolution from the band’s debut, Vega just continues to excel. STEREO MESSIAH is perhaps a more mature effort, and certainly an excellent example of hard rock done right.
1. Stereo Messiah
2. All Or Nothing
3. Wherever We Are
4. Ballad of the Broken Hearted
5. Gonna Need Some Love Tonight
6. The Fall
7. Neon Heart
8. With Both Hands
9. 10 X Bigger Than Love
10. My Anarchy
11. The Wild, The Weird, The Wonderful
12. Tears Never Dry
Nick Workman: Vocals
Marcus Thurston: Guitar
James Martin: Keyboards
Tom Martin: Bass
Dan Chantrey: Drums
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