Space Vacation - Lost In The Black Divide

Space Vacation - Lost In The Black Divide

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(CD, Pure Steel Records, 2017)

I first heard of SPACE VACATION when Kyoshi Morgan joined the band. I loved his guitar-playing in VICIOUS RUMORS and he's a cool guy, so of course, I wanted to check out what he was doing with a new band. SPACE VACATION has always been a quite odd sod in the US Metal scene - at least for the time I've known them - and I’m saying this in the most positive way. All since their “Heart Attack” album, which was where I got in, they've been serving classic Heavy Metal with a lot of fines and smart riffs. And these unique features got a lot more prominent on the brand new “Lost In The Black Divide”. Scott Shapiro’s very bright voice sets it apart, also that the music stays classic but how Scott sounds and the arrangement of the vocal melodies pushes in the more contemporary and modern influences into it all.

All of this comes in immediately with the album opener “Devil To Pay” which holds fantastic dynamics and melodies. I really enjoy the speed and attack in the riffs, topped off during the verses. The flow is still very smooth both in the music and vocal lines. Everything is taken up one step up with “Save Your Breath” which leans more towards being mid-tempo. It holds fantastic riffs, melodic but yet technical and again Scott's voice pushes it upwards. I've been trying to find a vocalist to compare him to but have failed; at some occasions, he sounds like Tony Harnell as he did in his early days with T.N.T, and on others it leans more towards Jack Rucker (aka Damien King I) of WARLORD.

The goodies keep coming as “Stay Away” is another fantastic piece. And here, I realized what made “Lost In The Black Divide” sound modern. Listening to the riffs it is as Classic Heavy Metal as it gets. The guitar-sound is very heavy and powerful and quite thick. That everything gets clear in the initiating mellow part of the song and then even more so in THIN LIZZY-sounding and very cheerful track "See You Again". It works for most of the album, in the heavier songs while it feels a little odd in this light-weight of a song. Another track that stands out from the rest is “Enemy”; both when it comes to the style of the riffs and the general feel of the song. It's more straightforward and much darker than the rest. The melancholy in the chorus-line is fantastic and here it shows that Scott manages the whole singing register.

With the title-track “The Black Divide” it goes back to the style from the beginning of the record and this smoker sure works. It holds a lot of variety, not a standard song structure and I really enjoy that. The speedy riff where the vocals come in shows some great skills and technique when it comes to guitar-playing. The dynamics are also there and how the song changes in intensity and pace is great and that makes this a favorite on the record.

I'm of course a huge US Power / Heavy Metal fan. I think though that SPACE VACATION should go down with most people. It holds a bunch of catchy tunes with fines and smartness which allow the listener to discover more details spin after spin. The record sounds modern but still has an organic production; it sounds real and genuine and it's definitely not a 12 of the dozen-product. SPACE VACATION have their unique sound and “Lost In The Black Divide” is striking among the massive number of records being released these days.





01. Devil To Pay
02. Save Your Breath
03. Stay Away
04. See You Again
05. Roll The Dice
06. Live By The Sword
07. Enemy
08. The Black Divide
09. Reason Or Rhyme
10. Through The Door


Scott Shapiro - Vocals, Guitar
Kiyoshi Morgan - Guitar
Steve Hayes - Bass
Eli Lucas - Drums