VESSL
Goddess


4.0
excellent

Review

by Bob Vance, Vance Refrigeration USER (56 Reviews)
June 6th, 2011 | 16 replies | 4,630 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Not *quite* better than White Pony.

3 of 3 thought this review was well written

On May 4th, 2010, a certain little alternative metal group called Deftones released a certain little album called Diamond Eyes. Heralded by many as their best album since the genre-defining White Pony (which is a pretty damn big deal), it cast an overwhelmingly massive shadow over heavy mainstream music in 2010 that has even carried over into 2011. However, what comparably few people know is that another, similar band released a similar album later in that month of that year, on the 18th. This band, VESSL, was (and still is) a very under-appreciated and very underground group (to my knowledge, this is the first real review of their debut). Combining the ethereal dreaminess of the aforementioned genre titans, the progressive aspects of Tool, the catchiness of Chevelle, and the epicness of Isis, Goddess is not an album that deserved to be completely passed over during the Diamond Eyes frenzy. Sure, it was inevitable, but this band is one that warrants attention from the music-loving community. Its debut shows a remarkable amount of maturity for such a young group, holding its own against even the most powerful forces of alternative metal.

There really is no evidence here that Goddess is the band’s first full-length: Sharpen Your Spine, with its notably ethereal atmosphere sure to draw comparisons to Deftones, sounds like a song that would show up on a Sirius station, while more progressive-oriented tracks like Azure or Shimmer bring to mind a slightly more radio-friendly Tool. Due to preexisting genre constraints, VESSL is not a very instrumentally technical act: while the band’s collective songwriting ability is top-notch and the riffs here are catchy and sometimes impressive (guess what band they bring to mind?), there is no soloing and there is no double-bass insanity present here. Freed from the constricting chains of trying to impress with mindless instrumental wankery, VESSL are free to focus on the one thing that makes Goddess such a winner. The vocals here are, without a doubt, the most entrancing thing about the group’s music. Combining Chino Moreno-esque vibes (the screams, the occasional “off-key” voice cracks, the extremely breathy quiet sections) with some emotion-packed highs, they are what makes this album so beautifully ethereal. The best song here, Promise Lines, is such an incredible and ethereal track because of its amazing vocal performance. While it surely does have some of the record’s catchiest riffs, some ridiculously slick bass lines, and beautiful loud-quiet dynamics, it would not be what it is without the angelic voice of vocalist and guitarist Charlie Berezansky (check out Tunnels for another insane performance by Berezansky).

This album, while not being full of surprises from a musical and creative standpoint, is a huge surprise in and of itself. VESSL pull everything on Goddess off with a degree of proficiency that rivals today’s most acclaimed alternative metal acts and successfully meld a vast slew of influence to create one of 2010’s most incredibly mature-sounding debut albums, as well as one of its most overlooked albums. It’s a wonder that it has been over a year since this record’s release and VESSL is not yet signed to a major label, for this is a band that could make incalculable waves in its scene. These boys only need the right “push” to send them careening down a path that will take them to places that so many bands can only dream of: one that VESSL can realistically look towards and aspire to.



Recent reviews by this author
Isis The Red SeaZodiak Sermons
Alda :Tahoma:Hungry For Hands I Was Hungry For Hands
Job for a Cowboy GloomJesu Ascension
user ratings (12)
Chart.
3.4
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
wyankeif1337
June 6th 2011



6739 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

GET THIS GOD DAMN ALBUM.

wyankeif1337
June 6th 2011



6739 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

http://www.myspace.com/vessl

they have the whole album on their myspace. listen to Promise Lines.

RavenRock
June 6th 2011



688 Comments


Bugger. You beat me to it.

Decapod
June 6th 2011



987 Comments


Thanks so much, wyankeif :o) appreciate it ridiculous amounts. We love you.

Digging: Ben Frost - A U R O R A

PistolPete
June 6th 2011



3462 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

awesome stuff, I didn't feel like I've been on Sputnik long enough to write a decent and deserving review for this...yah done good.

Killer-Collector and Sharpen Your Spine are unreal

Digging: Jolly - The Audio Guide to Happiness (Part 1)

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
June 6th 2011



8221 Comments


Its debut shows a remarkable amount of maturity for such a little-known group, holding its own against even the most powerful forces of alternative metal.
So what you're saying is that little known groups are juvenile because they are, well, little known?
Debut albums by bands 10 people know about, like VESSL, are usually relatively subpar to average affairs. This is why Goddess is such a ridiculously pleasant surprise: when a certain Sputnik user made a list about his band's debut and posted a download link, I was expecting a mediocre indie act at best and an atrocious ambient EP at worst. Instead, what I got was a full 50 minutes of top-notch alternative metal that sounded as if it was crafted by a band with four times the age and experience of VESSL.
All this is absolutely irrelevant to anything
Being an alternative metal band, VESSL does not, by nature, leave room for technical wizardry in its music
Just because alternative metal bands don't pull off ear-shattering shreds or guitar wankery doesn't mean they aren't technical by nature. Listen to In Every Breath's Awakening Ep from this year and tell me it doesn't feature great dynamics.
Freed from the constricting chains of trying to impress
When you put out an album you're trying to impress at least to a degree where people are interested enough to consider buying your album. Otherwise you'd be content playing in your little garage band and for 20 people.
Combining Chino Moreno-esque vibes (the screams, the occasional “off-key” voice cracks, the extremely breathy quiet sections) with a range reminiscent of Periphery’s Spencer Sotelo
For the love of god, when you're trying to make a point about some vocalist sounding great, do not use someone who sounds like a bitch as a comparison [the Periphery guy obviously, Chino is great).


Review isn't terrible but it's so asinine at points it's unbelievable. Seriously, the first two paragraphs just sound like "This band is LITTLE-KNOWN and NOT JUVENILE and THEY DON'T SUCK!!!"

Digging: Metsatoll - Karjajuht

wyankeif1337
June 6th 2011



6739 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah, i'll admit that this isn't my best. thanks a ton for the pointers, i'll edit.

wyankeif1337
June 6th 2011



6739 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

edited it: cut out that useless section and merged the rest of the paragraph with the following paragraph and did a bunch of smaller edits.

also, just a clarification - when i iterated that they're remarkably mature for their current standing, i meant that they're proficient for their *age* - i was not referring to how well-known they are, although i did reference that in other ways at points.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
June 7th 2011



8221 Comments


Good edits, I approve. This though

This band, VESSL, was (and still is) a very under-appreciated and very underground group (to my knowledge, this is the first real review of their debut).
is still rather pointless in the sense that it leads to nowhere and serves no real purpose other than to tell the reader that he/she is reading about a little-known group, and since you say that over a few times in the review, this can easily be deleted without harming the flow one bit.
Due to preexisting genre constraints, VESSL is not a very instrumentally technical act: while the band’s collective songwriting ability is top-notch and the riffs here are catchy and sometimes impressive (guess what band they bring to mind?), there is no soloing and there is no double-bass insanity present here..
Ok now I'm just nitpicking, but playing double-bass on drums really isn't that technical. I mean, I have never learned drums yet even I can create "double-bass insanity" on them. Besides, some solos can be very simple to play but are still effective, so you need to reword this whole sentence in order to make it sound more logical/efficient.
Freed from the constricting chains of trying to impress with mindless instrumental wankery,
You reworded the sentence but the point is still the same as it was before. I can safely say that most metal bands aren't concerned about impressing the listener with instrumental wankery. Sure, there are exceptions, but with this sentence you make it sound like it's a rule that metal bands always want to wow the listener their awesome technicality. This, simply, is not the case most of the time.

MO
June 7th 2011



17367 Comments


it's ok

Digging: Soundtrack - Turok 2: Seeds of Evil OST

qwe3
June 29th 2011



21154 Comments


lol wow the avg rating for this went down. i feel bad actually

qwe3
June 29th 2011



21154 Comments


def better than white pony though

wyankeif1337
July 26th 2011



6739 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

dammit people giving this 1s, 1.5s, and 2s. pretty sure that at least a few of them didn't even listen to this.

Decapod
July 30th 2011



987 Comments


Its because they don't like me dude... its all good. We put our all into the record and that's all that matters to us.

SeaAnemone
July 30th 2011



18823 Comments


not quite better than white pony

Decapod
April 8th 2012



987 Comments


Hey guys, didn't wanna submit news for my own band, so, I posted here instead for who ever is interested. We have 10a new songs written, a new drummer and John who previously played guitar on "Goddess" is now playing bass. The new stuff is def heavier and even more melodic. Looking into Kurt Ballou for guidance. Stay tuned.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy