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The third album from Oklahoma quartet Vangough displays a versatile blend of progressive rock influences driven by piano and keyboards with a strong emphasis on melody. KINGDOM OF RUIN features 15 technically proficient and structurally complex tracks chock full of power metal pretense (“Abandon Me”, “The Garden Time Forgot”), completed by soaring vocals, gritty guitar crunch with a rash of tasty solos, and rock solid rhythms holding the whole shebang down. Drawing comparisons to a cross between the arena rock savvy and melodramatic balladeering of Styx and the modern metal snarl and punch combo of Evergrey (“Sounds of Wonder”), this troupe demonstrates an abundance of skill with their wealth of contagious compositions yet Vangough’s unhinged musicianship is the group’s greatest asset, transcending parameters to create a diverse musical expedition geared for the more adventurous listener.
- Mike SOS