One thing we do quite well in the UK is the progressive metal thing, and Hertfordshire boys V/Vega are certainly a testament to that by getting the perfect balance of juddering heaviness and soothing ambience just right on their new release, Leaving Lyra, a four-tracker which owes as much musically to bands like Meshuggah as it does to those like Karnivool.

The opening track, “Lyra,” is a prime example of V/Vega’s quality, as they meld together ambient passages with wall-shaking, tech-brutality with devastating effect. “The Grand Declaration” is another track which sees the Hertfordshire band mixing soaring melodies with pounding tech-tinged metal. The end result is something which, preconceptions of what progressive metal sounds like aside, blends together seamlessly. V/Vega float effortlessly between outright brutality and the more serene sections of their sound with no fuss whatsoever.

In the past I’ve found a lot of progressive metal bands to sit on the pompous side of the fence with efforts that sound too clever for their own good. V/Vega, on the other hand, are one of those rare groups that manage to get this mix just right, putting Leaving Lyra very much under the banner marked “Essential Listening.”

Track Listing:

01. Lyra
02. The Grand Declaration
03. Wanderer
04. Reaching Eden

Run Time: 21:19
Release Date: October 2, 2015

Check out the song “Glass House” here.

I have an unhealthy obsession with bad horror movies, the song Wanted Dead Or Alive and crap British game shows. I do this not because of the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll lifestyle it affords me but more because it gives me an excuse to listen to bands that sound like hippos mating.