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Beto Vazquez Infinity - 'Existence' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/90/30/7c/1085_BETOVAZQUEZINFINITYExistence_1299786534.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     March 10, 2011    
 
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This is one of my top 20 releases of 2010.

With 'Existence', Argentinian multi-instrumentalist Beto Vazquez and his band Infinity (BVI) have released an ambitious double album that successfully dissects various metal genres. As previously the band is augmented by an extensive cast of additional vocalists and instrumentalists from around the world (a total of twenty on this occasion!) Although there is an over-arching theme to the album, it is not a conceptual work per sé and there is no linked story, each of the nineteen original songs (plus bonus track – a cover of Kerry Livgren's 'To Live For The King') standing alone.

As previously Beto Vazquez has attracted divas from diverse bands and locations, although on this occasion greater diversity has been achieved as a result of seven of the tracks having male lead vocals in a variety of styles: my personal favourites being 'Cold Soul' featuring the deep but dulcet tones of Mik from Slovenian band So Cold, 'Beyond Myself' sung by Jacob Hansen of Danish proggers Anubis Gate and the bonus song 'To Live For The King', performed in grand style by tenor Dario Schmunck. Of the songs featuring female lead vocals the standout tracks are the ones featuring Mikki Straatsma from Canadian band Viveynne (whose unique voice with an amazing vibrato ensures that the melodious song 'Celestial Meeting' is the standout one of the entire album); Slava Popova from American band Operatika (who sounds very much at home on the power metal song 'Future City') and Lady Angellyca of Spanish gothic metallers Forever Slave (whose guitar driven track 'Dark Night' captures her voice perfectly - including a spoken section - and closes the first CD). On the second CD the pick of the bunch are the galloping and complex symphonic metal of 'Eyes Of Destiny' sung by Dusk (Chiara Malvestiti) who fronts the Italian band Crysalys and the rather mediaeval-sounding 'Ghost Of Time' with operatically-styled vocals from Gaby Koss (ex-Therion).

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However, the strength of this double CD package is that I have found from many repeated listens the whole thing hangs together wonderfully, and there are very few songs that fail to reach the standard and majesty of the whole. I feel that 'Existence' succeeds because of the great variety of styles and the mixture of tempos and through the inspired choice of the guest instrumentalists and vocalists: more of whom are from relatively obscure bands, demonstrating the level of research done by Beto Vazquez to find them.

Note that none of the songs outlast their welcome, and there is nothing even approaching mini-epic length: all twenty songs clocking in between just over three and just under six minutes. Potential purchasers should note that here is a wonderful limited edition of 1000 special digipacks available direct from www.betovazquezinfinity.com.ar while a jewel-cased version will be more widely available. This is one of my top 20 releases of 2010.

Paul Jerome Smith

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