Out of Trondheim, in the cold shores of Norway, VICINITY have been crafting their mix […]
January 30, 2024

Out of Trondheim, in the cold shores of Norway, VICINITY have been crafting their mix of progressive metal, melodies and sophisticated rhythm patterns since 2006. Now reaching their third studio album, the five-piece has reached the perfect mix in their sound. “VIII” is a mature progressive metal album, with a fresh approach to composition. Putting new influences to work in their already highly rich melting pot of references, “VIII” is a collection of progressive metal songs where the Norwegians drifted to a heavier, more concise sound than in the previous releases.

 “Promised Paradise” is first, and it’s a lengthy affair, clocking in at eleven minutes. Out of the gate, their musicianship shines, as does the plethora of instruments they use to carry their sound. I am immediately reminded of RUSH and DREAM THEATER. The singer has a very polished voice, and the music isn’t overly complicated, but just enough to let you know that they are masters of their craft. Throughout the journey, the sound makes several shifts, but the band never lose sight of the main melody. “Distance” has a smooth, rocking sound, with a nice mixture of keyboards and guitars, and the bright melodies really shine as well. Take a listen to the expert drumming and bass work as well…there isn’t a mediocre musician among the group.

 “Purpose” has a melodic sound with delicate piano and energized keyboards. So far, my only constructive criticism would be for the singer to work in some more textures and dynamism to his style…he has a great voice, but hitting some highs and lows as the music changes would help the sound come alive more.  “Confusion Reactor” has heavier structures, with a weighted riff as well as some darkness worked into the music. But, the greys are left behind at the chorus, as a rich blend of harmonies, keyboards and bass work elevate the sound. “The Singularity” is another winter, beginning with a bright mix of melodic keyboards and guitars, and drawn out vocal harmonies. The band really knows how to start a song. Admittedly, there are some self-indulgent moments, but I say if you have the chops, go for it.

 “Shape of Life” is perhaps one of the contrasts that I have been waiting for…the slower, more emotional sound is more straightforward, and the simple but pleasing melody is easy on the ears. Here is a bit of the vocal dynamism as well that I was talking about earlier. “DKE” has rougher, heavier, and more aggressive sound, but it is not without wondrous melodies. Listen to how well the band shifts between different passages in this instrumental…again, they are quite accomplished. The opus titled “Face the Rain” closes the album. It takes a lot of twists and turns along the way, but the central melody remains. Some people might label this music as very self-indulgent. For me, it invokes more curiosity than doubt, as I am always wondering where the band might go next. In addition to their musicianship, they know how to write and push melody, and these are often two hard things to accomplish on an album consistently.

9 / 10

Almost Perfect








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"VIII" Track-listing:

1. Promised Paradise

2. Distance

3. Purpose

4. Confusion Reactor

5. The Singularity

6. Shape of Life

7. DKE

8. Face the Rain


Vicinity Lineup:

Frode Lillevold – Drums

Erling Malm – Vocals

Ivar A. Nyland – Keyboards

Kim-Marius H. Olsen – Guitars

Pierre-Nicolai H. Schmidt-Melbye – Bass


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