Fireworks

Vexillum - 'The Bivouac' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/c0/83/d9/3330_vexillumthebivouac_1361578288.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     February 23, 2013    
 
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Music that keeps you smiling from start to finish and does make you want to play it again.

Vexillum are named after the Flag flown by the famous Legions of the Roman Empire, so you would expect the image of the band, seeing as they play music inspired by Elvenking, Rhapsody, Labyrinth and Blind Guardian, to be that of Roman Legionnaires. Instead the first thing that greeted me when I opened this CD package from Limb Music was a picture of five hairy (on their heads that is) Italian men wearing kilts (apparently they always wear them on stage as their musical battle dress). This did not bode well because even though I’m half Scottish myself and love most things from that beautiful land (even a bit of Haggis every now and then), I do have an abiding hatred for the sound of the bagpipe. So seeing all these fellas in kilts had me immediately drawing conclusions as to how they would sound. Thankfully, I’m glad to say that my initial conclusions were wrong and I soon found myself happily listening to a band with more than a passing resemblance to the acts I mentioned above.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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The five members of Vexillum have put together an album of melodic symphonic metal, with spoken word and atmospheric musical interludes that fit in between the full songs, which help to link all the tracks together, as if they are one piece of music. This approach of course is pure Rhapsody, yet the album is also very reminiscent of the Wind Rose CD I reviewed in issue #54* because of this. Yet I hear you ask do we really need another band from Italy who sound like Rhapsody? Well, probably not, I answer but: and it’s a big but Vexillum are very, very good at what they do and I warmed to their music very quickly indeed. Ok songs like ‘The Wanderer’s Note’, ‘Dancing Goddess’, the folky (with bagpipes - oh no!) ‘The Oak And Lady Flame’, ‘Valhalla’ and ‘Dethrone The Tyrant’ won’t win the Oscar for most original music but that probably doesn’t matter because what Vexillum do and do so well is write record and play great music. Music that keeps you smiling from start to finish and does make you want to play it again, which is all you could ask for really.

Vexillum might be another in a long line of Italian symphonic metal bands, who want to try to wrest the metal crown away from the legendary Rhapsody (whichever one that is), and if they keep on making albums as good as this that day might not be to far away.

Ian Johnson

(* of Fireworks Magazine)

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