Vital Breath – ‘Angels Of Light’ (Mighty Music/Target Group) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Phil Cooper   
Monday, 24 July 2017 04:00

Vital Breath artworkFrench metal four-piece Vital Breath have returned with second album, ‘Angels of Light’ following on from ‘Duality’, with a dozen tracks delivering the band’s style of modern American metal in the vein of Alter Bridge and Disturbed with a slight prog leaning.  Can this new album build on what the band have already established or will it fall into the leaving the “listener wanting more” category, as so many of their contemporaries do.


Opening the album is ‘The Trust’ and it’s apparent straight off that a lot of time and effort has gone into the production. The drums of François Brisk sound massive with a commanding snare and powerful kick drum.  The rhythm locks in tight with the bass line of Christophe Blanc-Tailleur providing a solid anchor for the whole track.  Twin guitars from Wayne Loeuillet and lead singer Jérôme Ponsolle round out the sound and their dual riffs thicken up the texture and with the excellent mix the vocals cut right through.  It is however, an opening track that has difficulty in grabbing the listener’s attention.  Whilst the musicians involved are obviously talented and they gel well to create a rounded cohesive rock sound, there is something lacking within the music itself.


The idea of something missing from the final piece is something that permeates throughout the album, as ‘Welcome To My World’ yet again seems to fall just short of greatness.  It comes across as a Bon Jovi B side, but without any bite.  There is no question that the riff is powerful and punches through the track with clarity.  Once more, the musicianship is excellent yet the music created is forgettable.  ‘Sorcerer’, ‘Missing God’ and ‘Witness’ are several tracks that provide highlights on the album though, the former two being high tempo rockers that really exemplify the riff power on offer and some excellent guitar solo work.  The latter offers an almost rag-time intro that is a theme carried throughout the track with great effect, once again courtesy of the guitar riffs.


There is a lot of potential shown by Vital Breath; as mentioned above they are obviously talented musicians and are certainly capable of creating great rock and roll.  However, this album fails to set the world alight as it falls victim to being too formulaic.  Tracks like the obligatory ballad ‘Brother’ are a prime example of this: the structure is so recognisable that the listener has a fair chance of predicting not only the cadence of the vocals before hearing them but also the construction of the guitar solo.  Similarly, the anthemic number ‘Unconsciously’, also offers a tried and tested song structure right down to the string pads used to bolster the texture and take the track up a notch.  Unfortunately, once more there is a forgettable nature to the overall sound, nothing bad about it at all just that it doesn’t stand above the many other songs of this type. 


Hopefully, Vital Breath will use this album as a foundation as it certainly provides a basis for further work, but they need to develop their songs more and up their game in order to spring board to another level and shake off the wallpaper type sound and set themselves apart from the competition.


‘Angels of Light’ is released on Friday 15 September.


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