Fireworks

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The Vicious Head Society - 'Abject Tomorrow' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/6e/7f/03/The-Vicious-Head-Society-Abject-Tomorrow-37-1495910343.jpg Hot

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Those looking for something challenging and engaging will be richly rewarded.

Life changing events can spur us into all sorts of actions. In the case of Irish guitarist Graham Keane, it was the diagnosis of cancer that his wife received which proved to be his motivation. Determined to make the most of every opportunity he could make come his way, the already respected guitarist decided to evolve the musical musings he'd long crafted for his own enjoyment into a fully-fledged album of Progressive Metal. 'Abject Tomorrow' is the outcome and it has to be said that whether you take its humble beginnings into consideration or not, this is a mighty fine piece of work.

Making the smart move to replace all his synthesised work with contributions from guest musicians, Keane brought on board drummers Klemen Markelj and Kevin Talley, bassist Pat Byrne, vocalists Nathan Pickering and Wilmer Waarbroek and keyboard players Nahuel Ramos and, believe it or not, Derek Sherinian. That was a bold move from a previously one-man operation, but boy does it pay off, the cohesion and technical prowess brought into play stopping you in your tracks. That Keane's guitar work is in no way out of place is a testament to this previously unknown musician's skills, although an even greater compliment has to be paid to his compositions, as no matter how good the cast-list, without a scintillating script from them to work off, it all goes for nothing.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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Using a Dream Theater meets Vanden Plas base and then accentuating some of the more technical aspects, while never losing sight of the need for hooks and melody, 'The Sycophants', 'The 11th Hour' and the eighteen minute plus closer 'Analogue Spectre' all impress, inspire and entertain. For those scared easily, best to mention that a few growls are inserted across the album, but with the majority of the vocals clear, soaring and proud, the throaty outbursts are more for colour and diversity.

As if all that wasn't enough, 'Abject Tomorrow' is also a clever conceptual piece, set in a time where all new-borns are implanted with an emotion inhibiting chip. However, one man's implant fails and it's his journey to humanity in an emotionless world that this album excellently conveys. As that concept alludes, this isn't an outing for the fainthearted, neither in theme or music, but those looking for something challenging and engaging will be richly rewarded.

Steven Reid

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