Vindictiv may not be a band name that resonates with many listeners, yet the group boasts some notable credentials. As such, their self-titled debut album, released some months back on the Escape Music label, warrants a closer look.
On lead vocals is former Yngwie Malmsteen and Brazon Abbot singer, Goran Edman. This first release from Vindictiv captures Edman, who appeared on Malmsteen’s Eclipse album, in excellent form. This connection is further carried forward by some highly impressive Yngwie-style guitar from Stefan Lindholm.
Vindictiv date back to early 2004 when Swedish guitarist Stefan Lindholm joined forces with keyboard maestro Pontus Larsson. After several line up changes, Vindictiv emerged with Edman, bassist Nalle Pahlsson of Treat, drummer Mikael Wikman of Planet Waves, Larsson, and, of course Lindholm.
This debut album, Vindictiv, delivers with striking musicianship, powerful vocals, and well-written and arranged tracks. Stefan Lindholm’s guitar work is of the highest quality whilst Edman's vocals are superb throughout, both musicians adding an extra dimension that lifts the band to another level.
Breathtaking solos delivered with incredible speed drive the album forward at a relentless pace, which is quite evident on “David’s House” as well as on the opener, “Fool’s Paradise.” There is definitely a lot going on here; so much so, actually, that Vindictiv may require a few listens before its full scope is revealed.
The intriguingly named “Caesar’s Commentaries” again has Lindholm leading off on an inspiring solo. He then soars through “The Royal Loo,” “Dreams Of A Demon’s Head,” “A Quiet Life,” and “David’s House” before exploding on the standout track, “Living Colours.”
“Hymn To Desdemona” provides a nicely paced breather with some exceptional vocals. “A Second Life” and the memorable “Fata Morgana” — the latter evoking subtle shades of Bowie — again feature dauntingly fast guitar solos as they bring the album to a close.
Vindictiv contains some intriguing tracks that attest to the band's distinctiveness while, at the same time, paying homage to some strong influences. As well, Lindholm has found the perfect band with which to showcase his extraordinary guitar skills.
All in all, Vindictiv will please those who like their melodic metal with heavy neo-classical touches. At turns compelling, stimulating and breathtaking, it's a remarkable debut album and one worth exploring.