Vince LuPone – Embers Of Ares – Album Review
This comes straight at you instantly. Madly intense drumbeats come flying out, guitar scales and solo-work instantly leaps out hard from your speakers; and with perfect precision, Embers Of Ares starts off with an explosion of a song in “Panic.” This is progressively edged rock/metal made by Vince LuPone, setting the bar high instantly with this excellent & seriously highly-skilled performance. His instincts, writing, structure and playing come out swinging hard right from second one of this album.
He’s not about to let up anytime soon either. “Dreamworld” is another excellently complex & meaty piece of music. The drums are really well done in this track and create an incredible beat for the guitars of Vinny-Lu to shred around. Intense as they are melodic, this guy totally understands how to make an instrumental song extraordinary; there’s no need for words when you get it this right with instruments alone.
LOVE the guitars that begin “Sacrifice.” This particular-cut is a little more on the accessible side, allowing for some crossover potential here with this lighter and more spread out sound. That does NOT mean that LuPone doesn’t get this track cooking at the same hot temperatures as the rest; this is a slow-burner by comparison only. This to me is a real winner here – fantastic guitar tones and an excellent flow to this entire song, completely understandable to any listening set of ears.
Please…you all need to take a lesson from LuPone…listen to how this album builds upon itself! “And The Gods Rest,” shows an interesting side of Vince here; using an electro-influenced beat, he solos “Hark The Heralds Angels Sing,” overtop of this incredible beat. Does it WORK? I mean…it’s as incredibly well-played as the rest…the solo near the two-minute mark will TWIST YOUR NUTS it’s so good…I just happen to have had my extreme fill of anything to do with Christmas music years and years ago. In terms of energy however, this is LuPone cranking it up yet another notch here on Embers Of Ares.
Damn! You have GOT to love the innovation in a track like “A Path To Nowhere.” Excellent ride through this song, great parts…the production on LuPone’s album is completely flawless. Perfect low-end, perfect mid, perfect treble…you name a frequency, tone or a sound and I can tell you that it’s coming through the mix perfectly. Switches in parts in tracks like “A Path To Nowhere” really highlight just how good it really IS. Great percussive elements, complexity done so well that it goes into the ears easily and as dark and gritty as it can be at times MAN is it dynamic, bright and interesting to listen to in others.
The title-track “Embers Of Ares” fades in epically…breaks, stutters and coughs before launching into a full-scale musical tirade. In this gigantic seven-minute beast, LuPone takes us all on a sheer journey through music-excellence. The ability of this guy on the guitar is absolutely wicked…there’s no denying what a true talent this guy has for both the writing and the performance. Worthy of the crown and titling, this track pounds away at length with Vince’s signature chops on full-blasting display. As the “Embers Of Ares” takes on a second life and slows down, this song draws itself out in a massive way. This feels like the final battle…just around or past the halfway mark things slow down and perhaps the battle is lost…
Then back into a full resurgence and the kingdom is safe. Or whatever the triumph in your story is that you picture while listening to this amazing song…but make no mistake, by the end – it IS definitely triumph – mistake it for no other people, mark my words.
What I had nearly written-off at this point….was a moment in the Vince LuPone set that let UP for just a moment! Energy-wise, this guy has kept it lean & mean all the way throughout with gripping beats and masterful guitar-work…but was it POSSIBLE…just possible…that maybe he could chill out for a moment and let us in on another side of himself. In “Hope Springs Eternal,” you get that. What a massive payoff here…the relentless storming beats before this song create such a calming effect once you get to this point in the album that it all becomes so clear, vivid and serene. This is the eye of the hurricane.
There’s definitely a storyline that exists within these instrumentals…the album surely plays like there is one. This final offering, “Spirits Rise 2015” is all the proof I need. After the menacing opening…the grand battle in the midst, the serene reflection near the end…and here in this final track we’re assured that the battle & music will certainly continue through this uplifting song that puts a perfect ending to this truly incredible experience in sound.
Consider me a huge fan of what Vince has accomplished here. It sounds new, it sounds creative & inventive, has amazing sonic-depth…I honestly couldn’t take my ears off of this.
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