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Between the Madness
Released: 2014, Independent
I am a huge, huge fan of Vangough’s 2011 album, KINGDOM OF RUIN. It is a progressive metal feast that owes allegiance (read: influence) to no single source; it is fully sprung from the mind of Clay Withrow and his bandmates. 2012’s ACOUSTIC SCARS EP was a tasty teaser of the softer side of the band and what they’re capable of. I’ve been eagerly awaiting this album for a while now, and although I’ve been spinning it constantly for 2 months, I’m just now at a place where I feel I can review it and do it justice.
See, I was initially disappointed with this album. I so loved its predecessor that I was expecting more of the same…and I didn’t get it. Hindsight being what it is, I should have known better. Vangough is not a band that is going to put out carbon copy albums each time out and once I accepted that, it was able to enjoy this album for what it is. What it is, is another fantastic, crunchy run through all the hills and valleys that prog-metal can provide, expertly captained by Withrow and his unique vocals. As before, the music is complex, painting a vibrant sound picture that is captivating despite its variant parts.
These are long songs too – excluding instrumentals etc., the shortest song is 5:41, and most are in the 7-minute range. Fortunately, the songs are so well written that you barely notice the length. I can’t pick any favorites, but I would note that a couple of the atmospheric instrumentals could probably have been cut in length, if not altogether.
Despite that minor quibble, BETWEEN THE MADNESS is another triumph for Vangough and is a strong addition to their growing musical legacy.
6. Between the Madness
7. Vaudeville Nation
8. O Sister
9. Thy Flesh Consumed
11. Depths of Blighttown
13. The Abyss
Clay Withrow: Vocals, Guitar
Jeren Martin: Bass
Corey Mast: Keyboards
Kyle Haws: Drums
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