6. World Of Fear
7. Till The Dawn
8. Dead Men
9. Wall Of Pain
10. Far Beyond The Sun
One of the best kept secrets of neoclassical metal – so far. Stockholm's Vindictiv introduced themselves to the metal audience in an impressive fashion with their 2008 eponymous debut. The band's sophomore effort ”Ground Zero” followed swiftly the following year, and remains a fan favorite.
From this point on Vindictiv's career path got rockier. ”Cage Of Infinity” arrived in 2013, following an acrimonious split between guitarist Stefan Lindholm and his other band Raven Lord.
Vindictiv's fourth and current effort ”World Of Fear” was created under more harmonious circumstances, and to their guitarist marks both a progression and a return to form.
”The sound is harder, but also more melody-oriented”, muses Stefan (whose resumé also includes Phenomena and Black Sabbath legend Tony Martin). ”Some fans may have found the last album too metallic, but this is more in the veins of ”Ground Zero”.
”Wall Of Pain” is a catchy heavy metal anthem with plenty of double bassdrums. ”Until The Dawn” is slower, a semi-ballad – a little something for the ladies. ”Day” is somewhat poppy – more of a major chord-vibe, unlike the minor chord-oriented remaining songs. At the same time, this is a more technical album than the previous one. I deliver my usual masturbation-style solos!”
Lest we forget – ”World Of Fear” introduces the most star-studded Vindictiv lineup yet. Present as always are Stefan's faithful cohorts Pontus Larsson on keyboards and renowned bass player Nalle Påhlsson (Therion, Treat, Last Autumn's Dream).
By their side we find virtuoso drummer Marco Minnemann (Kreator, Joe Satriani, Steven Wilson) and singer Mark Boals (Yngwie Malmsteen, Royal Hunt, Dokken). The latter is arguably the most famous on a long list of Vindictiv frontmen that includes Tommy Karevik (Kamelot, Seventh Wonder), Nils Molin (Dynazty), Oliver Hartmann (At Vance, Avantasia) and Göran Edman (Yngwie Malmsteen, John Norum).
”Mark is someone I've known for some time and it was great to finally make a whole album with him”, says Stefan. ”Marco is a very easy-going guy. I hooked up with him on Facebook and he agreed to do the album as soon as he heard the songs. He's such a quick worker, he nailed his parts almost before he received the songs from me.”
As additional icing on the cake, ”World Of Fear” features guest solos from two keyboard exceptionals. Mark Basile is best known as the singer in Italy's own DGM. The recently deceased Mats Olausson has made stellar contributions to the likes of Yngwie Malmsteen, Lion's Share, Ark and Evil Masquerade.
”These sessions may be the last that Mats ever did before his passing”, says Stefan. ”He appears on three songs, including a cover version of Yngwie Malmsteen's ”Far Beyond The Sun”. Such a sweet guy. We dedicate ”World Of Fear” to him.”
Have Vindictiv finally found a stable lineup? If it's up to their guitarist, the answer is yes.
”I'd really like to bring an element of permanency to the band. And the odds of us five performing live together look real favorable. Sure, some members are busy people and Mark and Marco live in the US. But my goal is to get Vindictiv back on stage and Mark is already on board. After all, playing live is the most fun part of all about being in a band.”
With any luck, these plans will quickly come to fruition. ”World of fear” marks the rebirth of Vindictiv, and it's due time that the band goes from ”best kept secret of neoclassical metal” to ”best revealed secret of neoclassical metal”.