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Vita Nova - 'Vita Nova' http://mail.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/50/19/32/vita-nova-vita-nova-91-1399056339.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     May 02, 2014    
 
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Certainly one to watch.

Vita Nova is a multi-national studio project put together by L.A. singer/songwriter VK Lynne and Italian guitarist/composer/producer Federico Salerno. The album was recorded entirely remotely and ultimately is the work of thirteen artists from six different countries. The instrumental recordings were done at Steelnight Studios in Italy and the guest performers each recorded in their home countries.

Bit of a strange one this as it is not strictly a full album, it is more of an extended EP. There are nine tracks included but only five real songs. The album also consists of two brief instrumentals and two alternate takes. All the material was composed by Lynne and Salerno and musically it borders on Gothic/Symphonic Metal. The song structures are very similar in style to those on the first Stream Of Passion album yet slightly less Progressive. The main songs are tracks two – six and include 'Taking On The World', 'Vita Nova', 'Scary Place', 'On Christmas Day' and 'Epehemeral'. These are book-ended by the instrumentals 'Alone Part 1' and 'Alone Part 2'. Each song contains delicately balanced power and subtlety and the performances are definitely of a high standard. Of the guest musicians, Maxi Nil, who has performed with Elysion and more recently Visions Of Atlantis, has probably the highest profile and if I'm honest some of the others I am unfamiliar with. 'Taking On The World' and 'Scary Place' contain some strong vocals, ethereal and provocative, and some of the guitar solos have a haunting intricacy showcasing some imaginative playing.

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The gothic atmospherics and orchestral textures of 'On Christmas Day' underpin some crunching riffs and passionate vocals whilst the double kick drum patterns that are featured contribute to the Progressive comparisons. The dreamy melodies of 'Vita Nova' accompany strong hooks and once or twice we are bordering on AOR territory. The weakest track for me is 'Epehemeral'; Babis Nikou from Astral DNA contributes the only male vocals to the album but it is far too derivative and wouldn't be out of place in the Eurovision Song Contest. Adding alternate versions of 'Taking On The World' and 'Scary Place' at the end of the album gives the impression that the ideas may have run out as they vary little from those featured earlier, aside from some extended outro soloing.

Vita Nova have created something to be proud of here and I'm rather disappointed there are not more real songs. Certainly one to watch and hopefully there will be more to come.

Dave Bott

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