Skip to main content

Progressive Metal Review: Vangough-Between the Madness

Release Date: November 12, 2013
Label: Dissonance Rising Publisher

Describing themselves as a “Brave, eccentric and chemically unstable… [and] a sunrise of melodic cocaine for your ears. A Pandora's Box of exotic flavors mixed with harsh textures that can only be described as human,” Vangough is the best progressive metal band that you have probably never heard of before. I would say that they are criminally unknown. Named after the famous Dutch painter, Vangough come from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and consist of Clay Withrow (guitar/vocals), Jeren Martin (bass), and Kyle Haws (drums).

Between the Madness is Vangough’s third album and it is one for the ages. It is heavy, dark, and a seemingly unrelenting release of creative energy. It is the type of music that gets better with each listen and demands your attention every time. Backed by powerful vocals, guitar driven melodies, and meaningful lyrics, Between the Madness is progressive metal at its finest.

The dark journey of Between the Madness beings with “Afterfall.” It is a kaleidoscope of sound, like a journey through a progressive metal version of Alice’s Wonderland. The music perfectly complements the emotions conveyed through the vocals. “Alone” is another striking song lead by its crushing music and powerful and personal lyrical content. “Separation” is like listening to some type of controlled chaos. It is an intense display of musicianship that will have you reeling when it is over.

With its excellent guitar solo, “Infestation” is striking in its display of power. The raw and primal energy just bleeds through the vocals, making for a lasting impression. Following it up is “Schizophrenia” and, at this point, I am convinced that I am in the presence of genius and am listening to a true masterpiece.  Vangough is not just about a heavy, intense metal sound. The serene “Between the Madness” is a great change of pace. A violin has never been more metal. 

The serenity is short-lived as songs such as “Vaudeville Nation” and “O Sister” bring back the energetic and potent sound to make for some amazing and unforgettable music. “Thy Consumed Flesh” is a thrilling instrumental with an absolutely punishing sound. “Depths of Blighttown” is a short instrumental with an ominous sound. “Useless” demonstrates what kind of interesting music they can create and that they can still pull out surprises this far into the album, while providing biting social commentary. “Corporatocracy” and “The Abyss” bring the album home with Vangough’s signature sound, making for an album that is completely stunning from start to finish.

Vangough”s Between the Madness is a like a soundtrack to a dark and twisted dream that I would never want to end. This album showcases Vangough in top form and performing at their peak. It is definitely a masterpiece and a work that deserves to be lauded the world over. I can see without hesitation that this is a top-10 album of this year. These guys are the future of progressive metal and Between the Madness is the proof.

5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: ALL

Tracks:
01.Afterfall
02.Alone
03.Separation
04.Infestation
05.Schizophrenia
06.Between the Madness
07.Vaudeville Nation
08.O Sister
09.Thy Consumed Flesh
10.Useless
11.Depths of Blighttown
12.Corporatocracy
13.The Abyss 


Brian McKinnon

July 14, 2014

Review Provided By Prog Rock Music Talk

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

New Age Instrumental Review: Anaya Music-AONKI – Gateway of Love (Cosmic New Age Music)

Release Date: February 2, 2018 Label: Anaya Music Website
Around this time a year ago I had the experience of listening to Anaya Music and providing coverage of Eternity.  It was an uplifting experience and a memorable listen as I recall.
Now with February drawing closer AONKI – Gateway of Love (Cosmic New Age Music) will arrive.
Once again, the recording features several exceptional collaborations between Anaya Music and a live virtual symphony orchestra recorded in the heart of Prague, the capital of the Czech republic. The orchestra combines members of the finest ensembles in Prague, including the Czech Philharmonic.
I think they should rename the orchestra to “The Live Spiritual Orchestra.” If you have been exposed to Anaya Music you will understand what that means. If this is your first journey with this music you will find out very quickly. Either way, this is spiritually uplifting music that leaves a smile on your soul. It’s like the term digital footprint, there is an everlasting m…

Jazz Fusion-Rock-Pop-Funk Review: Project Grand Slam-Trippin’

Release Date: June 29, 2018 Label: Cakewalk Records Website
This will be my sixth voyage into the world of Project Grand Slam (PGS). So, what is this experience going to be like this time? I would expect the same great combination of jazz, rock, funk, and pop that I always enjoyed.

Just so you all know PGS is: Robert Miller (bass), Mario Castro (saxophones), Bayden Goyo (keyboards), Joel E. Mateo (drums), Guillermo Barron Rios (percussion), Tristan Clark (guitar) and the beautiful Ms. Ziarra Washington (vocals).

So, now we are Trippin’ into 2018 with PGS. And the first track titled “1972” was like turning on the radio and hearing the Average White Band or Tower of Power. Yes sir, on the AM dial, it came blaring through back in those days. 

The title track is a real gas too. This number has some great sax from Castro and a killer rhythm section courtesy of Miller and Mateo. It shines the spotlight on them clear and bright. Let me tell you, those two are like the dynamic duo, kind of like a p…

New Biography on The Cars Singer/Bassist Benjamin Orr by Vermont Writer Joe Milliken to be Published November 2018!

Bellows Falls, VT – Veteran music journalist Joe Milliken recently announced a publishing deal with the Lanham, Maryland-based publisher Rowman & Littlefield Publishers to produce his first book, a biography about the late Benjamin Orr. Orr was the co-founder, co-lead singer, and bassist for the platinum-selling rock band The Cars. Titled Let’s Go! Benjamin Orr and The Cars, a release date is set for November 15, 2018.

Often considered the band’s heartthrob, Orr possessed an incredible voice, diverse musical talent and rare stage presence, all balanced by a magnetic, yet enigmatic personality, striking good looks, and a relentless determination to reach rock stardom. Born Benjamin Orzechowski (aka “Benny Eleven Letters”) and raised in the Cleveland suburb of Parma Heights, Orr was, prior to becoming a world-famous rock star with The Cars, a “teen star” as a house band musician for the nationally syndicated television show Upbeat.

A few years later Ben met his musical partner and …