Sevenstring.org Review: Vince LuPone - Screaming into the Abyss

Discussion in 'Artist Reviews & Interviews' started by Chris, Jan 18, 2005.

  1. Chris

    Chris metalguitarist.org Forum MVP

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    <div align="right"><img src="http://www.sevenstring.org/newsimages/vl/vl_xlogo2.gif" alt="Vince LuPone" />
    <b>Review: Vince LuPone - Screaming Into the Abyss</b>
    <font size="1"><i>By: Chris Quigley</i></font>
    </div>

    <img style="padding:20px;" align="left" src="http://www.sevenstring.org/newsimages/vl/lupone1.jpg" alt="Screaming into the Abyss" /> The music world is full of stereotypes, and as such, predominately instrumental artists often get shoved into categories. Guitarist X is a shredder, a rock guitarist, a fusion player, a jazz artist - the list goes on. So when I received my copy of Vince LuPone's Screaming into the Abyss in the mail I, admittedly, expected it to fall into at least one of the above categories. I was sure there'd be a splash of something different, perhaps in a segue or an intro, but the majority of the albums that I receive usually fit a certain mold. Not to say this is bad, simply common. Boy, was I wrong.
    <img style="padding:20px;" align="right" src="http://www.sevenstring.org/newsimages/vl/lupone3.jpg" alt="Vince LuPone" />

    Screaming into the Abyss isn't a shred album, nor a fusion album, nor a run of the mill prog guitar album - it's all of the above and a lot more. Most impressively, it never once feels like it's doing "something different" for the sake of being different. The whole album flows from beginning to end without feeling as though you're listening to "A prog guitarist playing a slow tune", or "A rock guitarist playing in offtime". Quite simply put, Vince LuPone's album is a seamless array of well written, well played and extremely versatile tracks that run the gambit between moving melodies and aggressive chaos.

    The opening track, Spirits Rise, sets a mood that Vince carries throughout. There's a sense of anticipation and pressure building from the synth intro, the syncopated melodies and the overall vibe of the song. Just long enough to make you want to see where he goes from there, it's a perfect mix of heavy melodies, Vince's terrific harmonies and a lush sense of songwriting rhythm and timing. In short, it does a perfect job of setting you up for the absolute punch-in-the-face heavy Lay't Down, a wicked 3 minute wah-laden stomp that's a barrage of low end dynamics and some stellar solo sections. The key here is maintaining tension and a feeling of "pressure". It's an earful, it's tastefully done and is all around solid songwriting that leads into Haven from Silence - a song with melodic tips of the hat to classic Iron Maiden and Queensryche, but is unmistakably Vince LuPone.

    <img style="padding:20px;" align="right" src="http://www.sevenstring.org/newsimages/vl/lupone2.jpg" alt="Vince LuPone" />

    Going forward, Vince isn't afraid to experiment - and with hauntingly lush results. From the Cello intro to By the Time You Hear This, to the rip-roaring blast Trail of Light, to the almost electronica feel of Forever in a Day, each song maintains Vince's fantastic sense of melody and outright stellar songwriting. He throws in some vocals (which are a nice surprise), and yet again in perfect unison with his backline the end result is impressive.
    And now to the really, <i>really</i> good stuff.

    Nothing True, a clean, beautiful song starts out with an intro that is simply gorgeous and drops into a haunting, reverb-laden twist of a track that's part heartbreaking and part uplifting. Moving on to At Peace, Vince again delivers a crisp, light and airy clean instrumental that is, quite frankly, beautiful. It shades of hope, light, peace and sadness all in one breath and it's a total earful without ever becoming overcomplicated. This all leads into, in my opinion, the best track on the album - Greater Day. Here, all of Vince's strong points come together in what sounds at first listen to be a relatively simple song. The fact that he can mix up 4/4, 6/8 and harmonize in 11/8 without ever losing the feel of the song is something that a lot of the more well-known "prog" guys even fuck up from time to time. The ability to mix complex songwriting into a very accessible tune is Vince LuPone's trademark. It takes several listens to realize just what he's doing on almost every track, and it's downright impressive the more you listen to it.

    All in all this is one hell of a first release. Self written, produced and engineered, it's impossible to not only enjoy the shit out of Screaming into the Abyss, but be straight out impressed at Vince's all around musicianship, sense of melody and time and the glaring obvious: This is an album that he cared a TON about and had a great time playing. There's a great nod to Joe Satriani (Song for Joe) as well, and with a listen to the rest of the album you can hear the monstrous range of influences evident throughout it.

    This isn't leaving my CD player for quite some time. As far as Screaming into the Abyss's title track - I'll leave it up to you to judge for yourself. You won't be disappointed.

    <div align="center">
    <img src="http://www.sevenstring.org/newsimages/vl/lupone4.jpg" alt="Vince LuPone" />

    <a href="http://www.vincelupone.com"><span class="ivorange">Vince LuPone - Official Website</span></a>
    </div>
     
  2. Chris

    Chris metalguitarist.org Forum MVP

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    This album is absolutely fantastic, and a must-have for fans of solid instrumental guitar. :metal:

    You can catch three tracks off of SITA in our Member Jukebox here.
     
  3. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    Damn straight - it's also pretty damned heavy. I took it to the gym with me when it first came in, figuring it wouldn't be great workout music, but I was dying to hear it.

    Then, I promtly had my face melted off. :flame:
     
  4. ajdehoogh

    ajdehoogh blarg Contributor

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    :hbang: I am waiting for #2. GET ON IT! j/k
     
  5. Vince

    Vince Contributor

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    Thanks guys :)

    ajdehoogh, I'm recording another album right now, actually! We're hoping to release it between April and June.
     
  6. Chris

    Chris metalguitarist.org Forum MVP

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    :lol: Vince is going to have two albums out, three if you include The Asylum, before Drew and I have a combined total of one.
     
  7. Vince

    Vince Contributor

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    :lol:


    Don't forget touring regionally. That's the goal for this summer. AZ, Cali, Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado, and Texas. If all goes as planned, that is :yesway:
     
  8. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    :lol:

    Hey, you've got your half album done, I'm the one dragging the team down.

    Vince, talk to me when you tour Boston. Before then, I don't want to hear it. :fawk:
     
  9. Vince

    Vince Contributor

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    4 band members, 3 roadies, about 2000 lbs of gear, all stuffed in a U-Haul and driving 3000 miles over 4-5 days.

    1 man buying a $150 plane ticket to Phoenix.

    Drew, which is easier? :fawk:
     
  10. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    The U-haul, obviously, because I'm not the one doing it. :fawk:

    Yeah, yeah, I suppose it wouldn't kill me to fly out for a show... :rant:
     
  11. Shawn

    Shawn Ibanez Guitars Forum MVP

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    I still listen to my copy. I love it. :hbang:
     
  12. ajdehoogh

    ajdehoogh blarg Contributor

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    FRICKEN' SWEET!!! :hbang: :scream: Looking forward to it!
     
  13. nitelightboy

    nitelightboy I poop in shoes. Contributor

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    Just got it in the mail the other day and I'm extremely impressed!!! Vince, you are a superb musician with an awsome sense of phrasing and a real stand up guy! Love your work and hope to hear much more from you.

    My only complaint is that Song For Joe isn't for me...it's for Satch, but I'll get over that hurt one day!!!!

    :bowdown: :bowdown: :bowdown:
     
  14. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    Grow up and buy a guitar with a floyd. :fawk:

    Yeah, SITA rocks... Can't wait to hear the new stuff. :D
     
  15. Michael

    Michael Forum MVP

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    "Haven From Silence" is one of my favorite instrumentals right now. :hbang:
     
  16. Vince

    Vince Contributor

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    Thanks man! Haven has my favorite riff and solo on the album. That song's been with me since about 1997 or so, and it was great to finally release it last year on the album.
     
  17. Michael

    Michael Forum MVP

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    Recieved the CD last week. Dude, it rocks! Some great vocals on there also.
     

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