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Vonassi - The Battle Of Ego


Vonassi – The Battle Of Ego

This is a progressive rock package that joins drummer Jeff Vaughn and bassist Vince Buonassi (hence the name) with singer/guitarist Chase Carter. Vaughn and Buonassi took on writing, recording and producing duties, while Carter struts his stuff quite comfortably in the suit that they tailored for him. Chase Carter is an exciting player by himself, but with these particular songs he really gets to stretch out musically.

The first track here, “The Drudge,” instantly reminded me of Dream Theater. With Vaughn actually assuming the role of rhythm guitarist on this one, he lays down a beautifully executed track with a great ascending quality, much like that used by the aforementioned Dream Theater. His drum work on the track has a very progressive, almost fusion-like feel as well. But the giant leap toward the clean and precise Dream Theater sound comes largely from Chase Carter. His vocal has the same clean quality and range like that of DT’s James LaBrie, and his guitar parts are anything but simple. Now, my intention is not to cast a shadow on Vonassi with these comparisons, but rather to highlight the caliber of their talent. This exhibition of across-the-board talent continues throughout the disc. And, the one feature I do enjoy about Vonassi maybe more than any other is their ability to write shorter songs in a basic classic rock vein (“The Now Game,” “The Battle Of Ego”). So many wannabe prog rockers think they have to write 16-minute epic songs to be considered legitimate in the genre. Progressive music is so much deeper than that, and I think Vonassi “gets” that. It’s about texture and complex instrumental patterns. It’s often about lyrics that transcend boundaries, as well as trading in the standard verse-chorus-verse structure for something a little more adventurous. There’s no doubt that with The Battle Of Ego, Vonassi does all of those things, showing that they really do “get it.”


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