Recent Reviews

10.12.2017

03.12.2017

26.11.2017

19.11.2017

12.11.2017

05.11.2017

[ More Music Reviews ]


Space Vacation: Lost In The Black Divide
Space Vacation - Lost In The Black Divide CD Album Review

Space Vacation: Lost In The Black Divide

Classic Melodic Heavy Metal
5.0/5.0

Bay Area band Space Vacation takes me back to the "golden era" of traditional heavy metal, where it all began. It was the glory days of tape trading, mimeograph fan-zines, and cut off denim jackets accented by band buttons and patches (and lots of beer, pot, and poodle-hair chicks in tight leather pants). Heavy metal was something between a cult movement and a brotherhood. I remember it well. Space Vacation returns with their fourth long player Lost In The Black Divide, and a new line up. Welcome new bass player Steve Hays and returning friend of the band, Eli Lucas on drums. With respect, it should be noted that former drummer Warren Ryan recorded the drum parts for this album.

Space Vacation Band Photo

Space Vacation

Space Vacation plays classic, "keep it true" heavy metal like it's 1982, and without apologies. That's not to make them some retro band because traditional metal never goes out of style, whatever decade it may be, and still informs modern metal everywhere. The best and essential elements of the genre remain with Space Vacation's tunes: twin guitar harmony with ripping solos, clean vocals and solid vocal harmonies, and a strong bass line backed by a drum line that delivers both speed and groove. Going even more old school, guest player Edward Newton adds piano and Hammond organ on Reason Or Rhyme and Through The Door, which he cowrote with the band.

Speaking to the songs, most of the songs offer the gallop common to the style, especially the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, yet with moderation at times within. Tunes that get up and go, and keep moving, include the guitar scorcher Devil To Pay, the frisky Roll The Dice, rhythm section driven Live By The Sword, and riff monster The Black Divide, a real scorcher. Alternatively, the song See You Again turns more upon a hard rock groove in an AOR accessible sense, and sounds much like a Thin Lizzy Song. Similar, Enemy also sounds like heavy metal rock, and has terrific vocal harmonies and a catchy chorus. Returning to the songs cowritten with Newton, Reason Or Rhyme leads and ends with a light piano, but I'm not sure what his place is within Through The Door. Possibly I hear some Hammond after the midpoint. I definitely hear another strong bass line and some killer twin guitar dueling solos.

Honestly, I liked everything about this album, all the songs. Lost In The Black Divide may be Space Vacation strongest album to date. Space Vacation are authentic champions of American "keep it true" classic heavy metal. Quite recommended.



CraigHartranft.net - New fiction, crime fiction by Craig Hartranft

The Bottom Line

Honestly, I liked everything about this album, all the songs. Lost In The Black Divide may be Space Vacation strongest album to date. Space Vacation are authentic champions of American "keep it true" classic heavy metal. Quite recommended.

Find A Review

Alphabetical Index

a b c d e f g h i j
k l m n o p q r s t
u v w x y z #
Album of the Week
Click to read the Warrior Soul - Back On The Lash CD Album review

If Classic Rock magazine and Lars Ulrich are to be believed, Warrior Soul founder and vocalist Kory Clarke is a legendary front man and a bona fide, if not underrated, rock star of our generation. Clarke and ... [ Read More ]