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Released: 2008, self released
Reviewer: Mr. Rock
Vertigo Steps is the brainchild of Arcane Wisdom’s Bruno A. Writing all the music and handling the guitars and keyboard, Bruno’s talent is impressive. Though VERTIGO STEPS being marketed as a fairly wide range of styles (mainly dark metal and atmospheric metal), it really falls under the melodic rock category. Yes, there are touches of other styles throughout, however not enough to make the listener think it’s a different style. Not that this is a bad thing. In fact, it’s a good thing. I’ve always thought that it was better for a band to a certain style as opposed to being a ‘jack of all trades’. Pick a style, and go with it.
For the most part, the songwriting here is very solid, and the vocal performance of Niko Mankinen (Misery Inc.) is very cool. He has a strong, clean vocal, but it’s too bad that it’s buried in the back a little too much. A voice like this needs to be up front and center. On the ballad-y “Scarheart”, the vocals are a perfect match for the song, as it is for most of the album. Unfortunately, the production on the disc is a bit of a deterrent with the vocals, and the very mid-range-y guitar. Production is an important part of any album, it can make for a great album, or it can make it an average album. Here, it helps to make it an average album..
The album starts out nicely, starting with track 2, however it loses steam near the end. “The Gruesome Smile” seems completely out of place here… those screams and studio-altered vocals just don’t fit in with the overall feel of the disc. The instrumental “Pain Inc.” can be skipped, as well as a lot of music throughout the last couple of songs “I of the Storm” (great title) and “Synapse”. The songs are good, but just feel too long.
If the disc was trimmed down a bit, it would make for a better listen. Not a bad disc by any means, but just not a great one. Vertigo Steps has a ways to go, but for sure they are on the right track.
01. “Steps to Vertigo (in through)” - 2:53
02. “Vultures in My Dying Bed” - 4:02
03. “The Swarming Process” - 4:55
04. “Fire Eaters” - 4:04
05. “Serpent's Irony” - 4:53
06. “Scarheart” - 5:05
07. “The Gruesome Smile” - 8:06
08. “Pain Inc.” - 2:33
09. “I of the Storm” - 7:30
10. “Synapse (sleepwalking metaphorms)” - 6:05
Bruno A - All music & vertigo words. Guitars, keys, loops & programming
Niko Mankinen - lead vocals
Daniel Cardoso - drums, vocals, piano
Alexandre Ribeiro - fretless bass
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