â€œEstrangerâ€ is a track that could easily be played on any hair metal station, but Vangough really makes the track germane for todayâ€™s listeners through a perfect balance of theatric metal with a power and fury that cannot be denied. One has to also look at the length of the compositions that are on â€œManikin Paradeâ€; many of the tracks are in the five to nine minute realm, showcasing one thing: Vangough knows how to create an engrossing and impressive track that with have listeners clamoring for more despite the songâ€™s lengthy run time.
The titular track to â€œManikin Paradeâ€ has a chunkier ,more sludgy type of sound crafted by Vangough. In this sense, the act takes on Helmet just as much as they approach Candlemass; what results is a testament to the technical virtuosity of the band. â€œChristmas Scarsâ€ ties a more tribal, Sepultura sound with hints of Anthrax and even Mortiis (in regards to the atmosphere that is whipped up for the track). The vocals here on â€œChristmas Scarsâ€ have a tremendous task to complete in sticking with the rest of the band, but I feel that they accomplish just that; the track itself is then catapulted up to the highest quality. â€œHandful of Dreamsâ€ has a slower, more Blind Guardian feel to it, but that really only fits a bit of this eclectic track.
I feel that, aside from taking on progressive metal with this track, that Vangough actually looks at the pacing and arrangements present in Broadway-caliber musicians and marries them to their (much) heavier sound. Later tracks, such as â€œEtude of Sorrowâ€, showcase that Vangough does not lose steam in the later reaches of the album. By meshing Queensryche influences with the bandâ€™s love of Tool, Vangough are really able to keep â€œManikin Paradeâ€ going as an instruction manual for how to continually innovate as a band. While the band creates a unique sound through each of the â€œManikin Paradeâ€ tracks, I feel that fans of more popular genres (such as radio-friendly hard rock) can get into what Vangough is doing here and have their eyes opened for what truly is at the cutting edge of contemporary music.
Top Tracks: Paradise for the Lost, Dance of the Summer Mind
Vangough â€“ Manikin Parade / 2009 Self / 14 Tracks / http://www.myspace.com/officialvangough