Officially throwing their hat into the neo-prog rock arena with their debut album Next Stop Vertigo, German band InVertigo have assembled a very solid first album that is sure to appeal to fans of Spock's Beard, Marillion and Genesis.
Formed back in 2008 InVertigo might be a relatively new outfit, but you'd never be able tell by listening to the eight songs featured here. Their songwriting and musicianship reveals a striking amount of maturity rarely found in a debut offering, so you definitely get a sense that these guys have quite a bit of experience and that they've spent a fair amount of time honing their craft and fine tuning their songwriting.
Consisting of Sebastian Brennert (vocals, keyboards), Michael Kuchenbecker (keyboards), Andre Lente (drums), Mattias Hommel (bass) and Jacques Moch (guitars) this disc contains pretty much all the necessary ingredients that progressive rock fans are looking for in an album. Expect a lot of densely layered and complex passages to go along with the multitude of constantly changing tempos and shifting moods to provide the listener with a very cohesive sounding listening experience. The band's attack is split down the middle with a heavy emphasis placed on the vibrant guitar / keyboard interplay between Moch and Kuchenbecker. The twelve minute "Special" and "Take Your Time" are two standout tracks guaranteed to provide the listener with first hand evidence of said dynamic, as both feature an abundance of Moch's fiery and melodic solos, together with Kuchenbecker's dazzling, keyboard runs. It's difficult to pick out a couple of examples or standout tracks, especially when the whole disc feels like one great big highlight from beginning to end, but that's really just a testament to how good Next Stop Vertigo really is. When you add the warm sounding, emotive vocals of Brennert and the rock solid rhythm section of Lente and Hommel into the mix, you have the makings of great band!
InVertigo have certainly set the bar quite high for themselves with Next Stop Vertigo, so it will be interesting to see how they follow this one up. My only regret is that I wish I'd gotten around to listening to this album sooner because Next Stop Vertigo definitely would have been a serious contender to make my 'best of' 2010 list. Keep your ears open for these five talented musicians because as good as this one this, I think it's only a hint of what they're truly capable of.
2) The Night
4) Take Your Time
5) Night On Broadway
6) Saturday Evening