As soon as I saw “Produced by David T. Chastain” on the back cover of 2050, I knew it was to be a total shred-fest! He is truly one of the most underrated, unsung guitar demons in metal history so I knew that if it had his name on it, it would have to be of exceptional quality. Fortunately, my expectations were left intact upon playing 2050 seven or eight times now. This is one powerhouse band!

I’ll cover the guitars first since they are impossible to ignore. Corbin Kings is outstanding! From his skillful and intricate riffing,to his uncannily fluid shredding, this guy is an all-around metal virtuoso. Just listen to the dual-lead harmonies in the beginning of “The Executioner.” Yngwie who? This guy is blistering! He goes from this harmonized frenzy into a tight, crunchy riff reminiscent of Nevermore. Vocals are handled very well I might add by Ted Braser. Ted has a dense, lower register tone with the right amount of edge. He relies on his strengths as opposed to aiming for the stratosphere with his vocal chords. What are his strengths? Strong phrasing, confident delivery and convincing vibe, that’s what. I don’t care how wide the range of notes is, without these three elements in place a singer will fall flat on his face. Ted has these in spades! Drummer Brian Harris and bassist Kevin Kekes are a super-tight machine delivering the staccato rhythms and hairpin changes with apparent ease.

Don’t be mistaken though, this is not an “all-chops-no-songs” effort here. The song structures are as solid as they are adventurous. “The Lost And Found,” the furious instrumental “Cast The Glamor,” opener “Fight Till The Death We Must” and “Directive 65,” with its exquisite guitar harmonies and somber acoustic picking are all definite highlights on this stellar disc. The lyrics, all penned by producer/guitar-god Chastain, are a futuristic, sci-fi tale.

Vainglory deserve mass amounts of attention in the metal world, and it’s my sincere hope that they get it. It would be a shameful thing for a record of this massive caliber to go unnoticed. These guys should be standing next to Nevermore, Iced Earth, and any other American metal heavyweight for they could easily hold their ground

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Shawn Pelata
April 27th, 2001


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