· VINDICATA - BENEATH THE SURFACE (GYR179) ·

::T R A C K S::

01. SUPERMEGALITHIC
02. DEATH DEFYING YEARS
03. CARRY MY DREAMS AWAY
04. HEAVY CROWNS
05. WOULD YOU
06. LEAP OFF THE EARTH
07. FRAGILE
08. EDGE OF SLEEP
09. LEAP OF FAITH
10. EVERMORE
11. WASTING AWAY
12. LET THE WORLD RIGHT IN
13. TIME


FORMAT: Audio CD / 4 PANEL WALLET
GYR179 - $14.99

Awesome debut studio disc by this outstanding female-fronted heavy rock band featuring Chris Poland on lead guitar. Includes 13 tracks of stellar, world-class, sophisticated guitar rock music that lands with strength, power and excellence. A modern day, cutting edge, stylistic, melodic heavy rock musical masterpiece.

Vindicata is fronted by the incredible, powerful vocal talents of Mary Magill. As the voice of Vindicata, we discover a true new heavy rock vocal goddess who sings her ass off and shines like the sun from start to finish on the amazing "Beneath The Surface" disc. Vindicata also features the excellent musical talents of dual guitar team: Jim McCrostie & Brett Pedersen laying down bad-ass, adrenaline-fueled, heavy riffage that lands classic and epic. Completing this killer heavy rock machine, we find the powerhouse rhythm section of Mat Hansen on bass and Pete Weaver on drums, both solid men of rock who nail down the Vindicata musical foundation & groove with sheer class and power. Last but not least, world-renowned guitarist & axemaster supreme Chris Poland guests on most of the lead guitar solos which all land truly prolific, creative, artistic & phenomenal beyond belief.

The Vindicata: "Beneath The Surface" disc takes us on an amazing, deep, female-fronted heavy rock musical journey that is timeless and forever. Tune in & experience this essential Grooveyard Records disc and learn the true meaning of Truth Shines..."Beneath The Surface."


MP3 Sample Clips

01. SUPERMEGALITHIC
02. DEATH DEFYING YEARS
03. CARRY MY DREAMS AWAY
04. HEAVY CROWNS
05. WOULD YOU
06. LEAP OFF THE EARTH
07. FRAGILE
08. EDGE OF SLEEP
09. LEAP OF FAITH
10. EVERMORE
11. WASTING AWAY
12. LET THE WORLD RIGHT IN
13. TIME

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· VIDEO ·

 

VINDICATA - "Beneath The Surface" Promo Video
(Supermegalithic) (with Chris Poland)

 

 

· reviews ·

In the expansive pantheon of rock music, the inclusion of a female lead singer as part of a band is a relative rarity. Bear in mind I’m not referring to the female solo artist who is supported by musicians picked by other people to best reproduce their recordings; I’m talking about the female lead singer who is an integral part of the collaborative creative force within a band. When it comes to heavy music, that rarity becomes an outlier. When it comes to REALLY heavy music, that outlier becomes a stylistic one-off anomaly. When considering the company that Vindicata has, only Evanescence comes to mind, and it would be tempting to leave it at that. I’ll oversimplify with this example: “Let’s see…a heavy band. A female lead singer. Got it. What’s the difference?”

Well, there is a HUGE difference and it is contained, ironically, in the title Beneath The Surface. A closer look – or should I say listen - reveals a fundamental shift in the way Vindicata’s priorities are structured, representing a huge stylistic departure from everything that came before them. In the case of Evanescence and their ilk, the role of lead guitar is relegated to the periphery. There may be a cursory guitar solo in the form of an echo of the melody line, but the presence of the artistically inventive guitar solo as a true voice is nonexistent.

On Beneath The Surface, the lead guitar is alive and screaming, brought to the fore by none other than the preeminent master of melodic shred, Chris Poland. His presence is one of the things that makes this release so unique. The molten liquid silver alchemy in his lead guitar excursions definitively separates this release from any and all comers this genre has generated up to this point. His playing is absolutely stellar, and his novel melodicism amplifies and elevates the singularity of this lineup and the music they’ve created together to a different level entirely. Vindicata brings something new to the party, and that’s only the beginning.

The fabulous Mary Magill takes control of the vocal end of the band and presents her plaintive stories with both a controlled fury and a silky smooth purity, and the positivism that’s expressed in her upbeat major inflections are a welcome breath of fresh air. She exudes a graceful and full-bodied clarity that soars, punctuated with innovative intervallic harmonies that, when stacked on the heavy musical undertow, infuses the proceedings with a wondrous “Beauty and the Beast” juxtaposition. Every track is dripping with catchy hooks, intelligent lyrics and incredibly heavy riffage. This young lady is a force to be reckoned with. Mary Magill is the real deal, putting the “She” in the Whole Shebang.

The twin guitar assault of Jim McCrostie and Brett Pedersen dominate the instrumental end of the spectrum, and they specialize in a dynamic, baritone-ized detuned stacked fifth thickness that hits like a “tsonic tsunami”. Their layered guitars are sprinkled with exotic modalities and chock full of wicked halftime pulsegrooves, as on “Edge Of Sleep”, where dissonance and consonance find balance, and “Evermore”, where a non-standard symphonic structure weaves through twists and turns that surprise and satisfy. McCrostie also knows how to smoke a killer lead, trading solos with Poland on “Supermegalithic”, “Edge Of Sleep” and “Time” to knockout effect. Add in the turbo-boosted rhythm section of Mat Hansen (bass) and Pete Weaver (drums, backing vocals) and you have created a collaborative dreadnought where soaring melodies, elegant harmonies and pummeling syncopation are the order of the day, all of it arc welded into the musical DNA of this lineup. In a sentence, Vindicata is broad-spectrum awesome, emotionally powerful, harmonically sophisticated, extremely heavy and sublimely elegant. All at once. They’re just fantastic.

Jimmy Ryan / Guitar Rock Appreciation Society (January 2019)
 


The debut release, 'Beneath The Surface' from Vindicata is both epic in scope and powerful in tone. There is a very accessible vibe to the album. Fronted by the powerful vocals of Mary Magill, along with a group of excellent musicians in the form of former Megadeth guitarist, Chris Poland, Jim McCrostie and Brett Pedersen on guitars, Matt Hansen on bass and Pete Weaver on drums. The album's production is on point from start to finish; no track gets left behind. All thirteen tracks are amazing highlighted by "Death Defying Years", "Heavy Crowns", "Leap Off The Earth", "Edge Of Sleep" and "Wasting Away". There is not one weak track here, each one containing something to coax the listener into a state of willful addiction. There is a constant flow of creativity, with Magill's vocal prowess shimmering over the arrangements. Overall, 'Beneath The Surface' is such an all around amazing work loaded with thirteen incredibly powerful songs that are filled with amazing vocals, talented musicianship, that will have your undivided attention throughout. This recording has got power, intensity, emotion and melody all balanced and wrapped up into one ball of pure brilliance.

Tony Sison / The Dedicated Rocker Society (January 2019)
 


With crunching riffs and blistering drums the debut from Vindicata lands with a seriously authoritative punch, a modern attack wrapped aggressively round a hard rock base and allowed to detonate with little care for the damage caused. Fronted by Mary Magill, this lady proves that there seems to be no end to the incredibly talented women who are now taking the rock world by storm. And her band’s Beneath The Surface album comes replete with a twin guitar assault that isn’t afraid to rock the very ground you stand on. Aggressive and assertive, the pairing of Jim McCrostie and Brett Pedersen are augmented by one-time Megadeth man Chris Poland, who pours a fiery fret feast of solos down on a set of songs that make an immediate impression and then begin to dig deeper with time.

Magill has a wide range, capable of soothing and cajoling with a clean attack, but undoubtedly more effective when adding a little grit and steel to her delivery. Hear her howl on the mid-paced stomp of “Would You” to really wrap yourself up in the world this young lady can create. Whereas on “Edge Of Sleep” the balance she finds between controlled aggression and siren like clarity gives a thunderously delivered barrage of riffage a twin edged attack that you might not otherwise expect. The likes of “Supermegalithic” maybe takes a little longer to get under the skin and while it opens the album in confident style, for me it might have been better as a deeper cut later in proceedings, the much more controlled vocal delivery a little overshadowed by the buoyant brutishness of the beats. The man behind the kit is Pete Weaver and while I may not have come across this skin pummeller before, his work is a lesson in how to take an album by the scruff of the neck and drag it forward. Personally, I find the production on his hi-hat work to be a little bright, with the hiss of stick on metal sometimes a little too forceful in the mix, but it’s hardly a make or break element of what’s going on here.

Mat Hansen isn’t far behind, his bass work unobtrusive but vital to the foundation of what in the wrong hands could have been a dominant fret focused explosion. This four-string man tames that beast while also understanding when to take a half step back and let the lead work of Poland and McCrostie take control. “Heavy Crowns” being a prime example where the ex-Megadether bursts to the fore without ever quite tumbling into the world of shred.

It’s early days for Vindicata and Mary Magill, but with the clear and obvious talents she has there’s no doubt that this lady can go the distance. Beneath The Surface is an intriguing and in a few ways a slightly unexpected debut offering. What comes next should prove to be extremely interesting.

Steven Reid / Sea Of Tranquility (December 2018)
 


This was not really what I expected to hear from the Grooveyard, I must admit! Vindicata, fronted by the raspy and fiery power pack Mary Magill leans more towards modern detuned riff-oriented hard rock (think Sevendust, Alter Bridge etc.) than the 70s influenced bluesy stuff we’re used to hearing from the guitar label of guitar labels. However, I must say I do not mind at all. This is some heavy shit! The band was previously called Half The World and released two CDs, now really rare and hard to find. The band changed their name to Vindicata and “Beneath The Surface” is a compilation of these two albums, but with a couple of changes. The band has also added the guitar talent of Chris Poland (Ohm, OHMphrey, Megadeth etc). He has added some outstanding solos on almost all the tracks! Even though the albums were written and originally recorded a few years apart and they were released some years ago, this does feel like a very homogenous and fresh album! You definitely can’t tell it’s a not a "new" album (I was actually halfway through the album before I was like – Where the hell have I heard this before??). Guess the band was a bit ahead of its time. Great band! Looking forward to hearing some new material!

Janne Stark / Stark Music Reviews (January 2019)
 



 


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