PHIL VINCENT - UNKNOWN ORIGIN (2005, SELF RELEASED/NEH RECORDS)
Phil Vincent - vocals, guitars, bass, drums, synthesizers
Paul Colombo - guitars
William V. Arnold - bass
Tanion DeAngelis - drums
David Zycheck - lead guitars
Ever prolific, Rhode Island's melodic rock mainstay Phil Vincent returns, after his 2004 effort 'Secrets' and before that, the band project 'Circular Logik'. Vincent collaborated with Paul Colombo, who is also present on this album 'Unknown Origins'. As with his previous releases Vincent is responsible for almost all the albums content, the music following the melodic hard rock direction he has pursued for the last decade covering nine recordings. Most of Vincent's work is workmanlike, without a definitive effort thus far, which after a long duration, he would've been hoping for a change of fortune with 'Unknown Origins'. Despite some worthwhile moments of melodic inspiration, Vincent still has yet to reach his peak, the wide range of influences resulting in inconsistency.
Vincent's lack of a focused direction is the most obvious issue. One moment he's pumping out the impressive keyboard flavoured AOR of 'Thanks For Nothing', the next he's presenting Beatles
influenced ballads like 'In The Blink Of An Eye', complete with Vincent's constant Brad Delp
type vocals. Vincent gets it right with 'Dear Friend', despite the obvious Dokken
similarities, thanks to some impressive synth bursts and the AOR hook which is the albums highlight. 'Never Gonna Let You Go' flirts with a mid to late 80's sound, with some roughly produced riffs the only major flaw. The Dokken/Delp
vocal copies really get in the way of some otherwise enjoyable melodic rockers like 'All I Need', where the style is too deliberate and forced. As is the norm, a modern rock track or two is included, the blandly titled 'Shotgun Messiah' unleashing grunge riffs and megaphone effect vocals as if it were 1995! Nothing stands out in grandiose fashion concerning 'Going Through The Motions' or the ballad 'Faithless', while I had to remind myself 'Get Away' wasn't a cover of the classic relic 'Spirit In The Sky', judging from the opening riff! Vincent nearly makes up for it with 'Fatal Love', and ironically it's the dated and enjoyable keyboard work that earns it a pass mark.
Certainly some stylistic confusion all round; although it is probably intended. Vincent obviously has a large range of influences and in trying to fit them in he has somewhat compromised developing a concrete identity of his own. Naturally Vincent excels with the catchier old school AOR additions, which suggests he should pursue this direction more than the dreary ballads and attempts at a modern showcase. After a decade of intense grind and dedication Vincent has carved a niche for himself as a solid homegrown artist with credibility, but it is hard to see how 'Unknown Origin' will catapult him any higher than where he is currently perched.
01. Thanks For Nothin'
02. Dear Friend
03. Never Gonna Let You Go
04. All I Need
05. Make No Mistake
06. Shotgun Messiah
07. Goin' Through The Motions
08. Fight From The Inside
10. Get Away
11. In The Blink Of An Eye
12. Fatal Love
Phil Vincent - 2001 Tragic
Phil Vincent - 2001 Circular Logic
Phil Vincent - 2005 Unknown Origin
Phil Vincent - 2008 Passion And Pain
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