Review Summary: A true black and white classic.
If one indulged in the thriving hive that was Sputnikmusic (circa 2010) I, Vigilante was the talk of the town, and for good reason — it was a masterpiece. Still, the album can’t possibly be as great as one remembers from eons ago, can it? Surprise, it can.
Post-rock and prog rock come in plethoras of forms, though the embellishments within I, Vigilante involve more layers than an Arctic suit. A Pink Floyd influence is unmistakably situated with trippy organs, hazy synths and the like, yet I, Vigilante has endless unique factors to brush upon. The hammered drumset is but one standout feature that catches the ear, with razor sharp cymbals courtesy of the immensely bright and clear production of the album. It’s interesting to note that despite Crippled Black Phoenix’s skillful (and gung-ho) drummer, the album is undeniably chill. Even during rhythmic delights like the opening track, there is a sense of calm that permeates the air. The singer effectively indicates a soother of an album — his voice is as gentle as a slight breeze, even when boisterous.
Now hold on one minute, these tracks are quite engaging. The chorus, vocal harmonies, and simplicity of Burning Bridges strikes a tone quite similar to ABBA — a catchy and wistful end to the album. Fantastic Justice features plentiful drum fills, triumphant horns, and a powerful singing performance. We Forgotten Who We Are has an ironically unforgettable moody croon and driving guitar line. The track eventually bursts, with piano flourishes and soaring guitars in full bloom.
I could keep going on and on about how the separate songs sound, for the nuance continues to stream out like a fountain. Each track is bustling with special moments, bringing something memorable, whether it be piano, strings, or something else that invigorates the tapestry. However, the album is much more than its instruments and parts. Indeed, the album is crafted well, and with their tools they conjure a gorgeous setting. I found myself lost in their splendour filled ocean of atmospheric guitar work. I was equally captivated with the band’s wrappings of haunting, mystical melodies.
I failed to mention how hard the album progs, but it is hard. They certainly take their time with often lengthy tracks to set a tone, but that’s not all! Layers upon layers are consistently added, instruments and melodies in perfect rhythm and harmony, inducing immersive euphoria, and a pulling whirlpool of ideas. I’d be remiss to not mention how the tracks indeed progress. Rather than setting their music on automatic, the tracks go through endless, but smooth flowing transitions of sounds, like a ship engaging in slipstream space. One might think the band are taking it easy during one second, and wouldn’t you know it? Everything changes the next.
So that’s it, it’s an album for the ages because through the ages not many have crafted such a delectable selection of unexpected sounds utilized in such cleverly calculated methods. The melodies are certain to take us somewhere fantastical and evocative — the power of music at its finest. Call it what genre you like, compare them to certain bands, but the fact remains that great music is included.