I honestly shouldn't like this album. Vital Science's
debut album "Imaginations on the Subject of Infinity" is heavy, dark, and thrashy, and contains some harsh vocals, some caterwauling, and endless riffing. This isn't normally what I am attracted to, but I feel such a strange love for
this album. Through all the technical displays, something comes through
that is purely artistic.
Vital Science is like a combination of Dream Theater and
Symphony X, though the latter is far more prevalent. The deep, thrashing
guitars, the pounding blast beats and throbbing bass, and the soaring vocals are
all reminiscent of Symphony X. Yes, even some of the lyrical articulation. However, this band is in no way a copy. They have their own style of
stuttering riffs, breakdowns, and song structures. Plus, they have a
totally different type of keys that may be the reason that I am so drawn to this
album. The keys, put simply, are amazing. Keyboardist Sergey Boykov
outdoes himself with surreal atmospherics, powerful synth solos, and just a
general aptitude for piercing the darkness of the rest of the instruments. Especially when he interplays with drummer Rustam Guseinov, the two create
something truly special and mesmerizing.
I feel that guitarists Aleksandr and Vladimir should be
emphasized here, too. Not only do they create the blackened ambiance with
their deep riffing, but they also pull off some incredible solos, such as on
"Truth Be Told". Not only are they technically proficient, but they are
also mature in their ability to compose.
The band, though, absolutely destroyed my expectations on my
favorite track, "Fallen from Grace". A colossal intro of perfect riffs and
amazing drums segues into fantastic keys, and the track doesn't let up at all. There are other stand-outs, like "Bridge of Sorrow" and "Truth Be Told" and "The
Curtains Fall". I do admit that the album becomes a little "samey" after a
while, but you won't even notice through the flurry of sublime instrumentals.
If you are metal fan, you will love this. "Imaginations
on the Subject of Infinity" is a tribute to the giants of progressive metal, but
also a forging of new paths for Vital Science. Instrumental perfection is
at the forefront here, but melodies and genuinely interesting moments are
aplenty. It'll be interesting to see what this band does next.