Ten tracks of awesomeness. Almost 30 minutes of technique delivery and a true musical roller coaster. This is what Imagination On The Subject Of Infinity, by Vital Science, has quickly become for me. It all started in one of those gray afternoons when my mood entered in one of those eternal and painfully boring fights between light and darkness, and I longed for something exciting. Rarely have I received a more satisfactory response to my prayers that the afternoon when I heard this complete album for the first time, a solid work that boasts a fantastic interpretation, a blend of heavy complex arrangements, interesting time signatures, strong riffs and a great display of technique. Heavy progressive power, skilled and complex, with a very noticeable inclination to symphonic; cleverly designed tracks make this album to sound polished and faithful to the band’s traditionally progressive roots.
Vital Science is a progressive power band that was born from the fusion of the Latvian Distant Light and the Estonian Shadow Cry, who united their powers in year 2008. The actual line up consists on vocalist Alexey Boykov, keyboardist Sergey Boykov, drummer Rustam Guseinov, guitarists Aleksandr Volpert and Vladimir Mihailitcheko and bassist Stanislav Kilmasov. Distant Light and Shadow Cry had recorded demo albums separately in the past, and thanks to these albums they have been able to perform extensively on stage under one name or another, effectively playing as opening act for Whitesnake, Udo, Overkill, Dark Tranquility and Samael to name a few.
Vital Science defines its own style as technically skilled progressive/power metal. The album sounds great, high quality and strength, top notch production. It may surprise some that it is this good, musically and lyrically, as this is Vital Science’s debut album, but considering the previous careers of the band mates, it’s evident that they have been in good shape for several years already. Something I really love about this album is that things get strange, musically speaking, more often than the usual, and I personally love when that happens, especially when it sounds this tasty… Alexey Boykov is a monster, a warm and powerful voice that shines from the very first moment, and that undeniably recalls that raw and gritty sound that the master Russel Allen explores when he shows his less friendly side.
The intro Overture is a great symphonic piece that is just too short for my taste, it opens the auditive appetite and hook you imminently with its majesty. Even at this point, the album is very promising and creates high expectations, so much that when Bridge Of Sorrow started I was already loving it… Let’s say it was not very difficult to win me. Direct riffs and unexpected changes, instrumentation that dazzles, crowned by a voice that borders on perfection.The Last Trial comes right afterwards, and is obvious why the band chose it as the first single, the great delivery, sick keyboards, beautiful guitars and bass and Alexey’s warm furious voice overcoming us like a human-tornado.Endless Sky gives me the feeling the keyboard is always the star and the heavy riffs provide a good base to them, vocals are not my favorite on the album, but I must said the quality doesn’t decreases in any moment.
In Truth be Told I got the feeling Alexey’s voice flows more freely and allows himself to explore more and reach another level of energy and passion, especially on the verses where his voice and interpretation is truly divine. Theatrical orchestration fills the atmosphera and makes of this song one of the jewels of the album. Fallen From Grace shows some smooth guitar that gradually leads to rawer riffs, and reaches symphonic epicness with that ridiculously awesome keyboard a la Rudess playing all over the song and a keyboard solo that sends multiple shivers down my spine. Now, considering that we are talking about progressive metal, the songs are not particularly long, being the most extensive Black Judgement Day, which exposes an impressive variety of these odd riffs I was talking about, riffs that my mortal brain tries to follow in such a desperate way that it ends up hooked to its power, so when Dream Survives shows up with its magic, I almost run out of breathe from air jamming every single instrument.Praying to Survive has a a dark almost gothic intro that immediately leads to a heavy riff and great delivery. The Curtains Fall It is a magnificent final for the album as it doesn’t drops its guard on the epicness field, and leaves the listener with a good taste in the mouth and still craving for more and more.
Imaginations On The Subject of Infinity is a trippy and sophisticated work, balancing cleverly melody and technique, so it is pleasant to the not trained ear and also complex enough to make any prog snob hear the whole thing with eyes closed. The guys have balls enough to risk their flesh and bones here, and dare to make arrangements that start sounding odd but end up being addictive. I’d say Symphony X mixed with Adagio and even a bit of Epica’s symphonic force. Do yourself a favor and buy the bloody album, trust me, it doesn’t get any better than this…