VESSEL OF LIGHT - Last Ride - Reviewed By Contaminated Tones ! Check it out here at this link: https://contaminatedtones.blogspot.com/2021/01/vessel-of-light-last-ride.html
I've never quite understood Dan Lorenzo's trajectory after The Downside and Damnation. While the last Hades albums' progression made sense to me, and were in many ways good records, his solo material always seemed to lack a certain... seriousness? Edge? There was always an unpleasant tang of gimmick jumbled in with the inside joke tracks and I will never understand the decision to include three other band's songs with a hype up track on Cassius King. Lorenzo's audacious ambivalence for convention is in every way a NJ attribute. That is for sure. So, I do not expect another Resisting Success - how could I? - but I've always hoped. Dan Lorenzo's collaboration with Nathan Opposition in Vessel of Light is a recent project, but the material presented, at least on this years Last Ride, explains a lot of what I've not understood about Lorenzo's progression in other projects. The doomier setting, somewhere between Sahg and Alice In Chains, gives insight into the thrashless tone of his solo records. There is, of course, the formative influence of Sabbath present, as well as stoner bastions like Down. Vessel of Light is not as gritty as any of the Down material, but a shared architecture can be found nonetheless. Perhaps the best comparison would be locals King's Destroy - particularly their 2013 album, A Time Of Hunting.
Long time followers of Lorenzo's storied and illustrious career will recognize the entourage. Bassist Jimmy Schulman, Lorenzo's long-time wingman, has followed him into the project. Lorenzo just drags him wherever he goes, it seems, but Schulman is a naturally gifted bassist and effortlessly suits the material. Drummer Ron Lipnicki, another Lorenzo henchman, also has moved into one of the project's bedrooms, kicking N. Opposition out of the percussion role, leaving him to handle the vocal element singularly. Though I'm not familiar with previous records from Vessel of Light, Last Ride is a very professional sounding affair. The guitars carry the jagged resonance of seasoned tweaking. Lorenzo does not spend much time, unfortunately, gracing us with guitar solos or leads on this album and his position is mostly of a rhythmic affair. A few good wailings and unadulterated shredding, which he is capable of, would have provided highlights in some songs. Schulman's bass, though, is a highlight for me, as it adds depth and subtlety to each track and I spent at least two listens only listening for his bass lines. Lipnicki's drumming is interesting and varied throughout, especially in a track like "Carving Station". I do wish there was more punch to his kick drum during the slower beats on the album.
If there was a major complaint, it would reside in the song structures. Throughout, on almost every song, the movement and pacing is essentially the same, with a short musical refrain followed with N. Opposition following shortly with opening verses. While there may be shifting of the location of bridges, and some short instrumental spaces, the patterning could become irksome for someone actively listening for deeper musical elements. I felt some tracks, like "Torture King" were wordy. Structurally, this became an issue for me and it carried into my enjoyment of the thematic elements. Initially I was not sold on the lyrical content, unable to poke my finger through the architectural issues. In fact, I still am not entirely invested into the predominance of serial killer and sadist themed songs but objectively I really can't find much to be sour about. Each song's lyrical content fits well with the tone of the track. A song like "Disappearing Pact," one of my picks for best track on the album, with it's quicker tempo and lighter mood plays well with the narrator's expectation of finding hope in suicide.
Similarly, a track like "Carving Station" is notably darker and heavier, like it is dragging a weight behind it. As Opposition somberly describes his character's motive operandi, the big thick chugging rumbles on. The track also marks the spot in the album where I felt Lipnicki really started to shine. The songs throughout are generally well matched with the lyrical content and with the persona which Opposition takes on as well. While on most songs and choruses, he channels Layne Staley, there are times when he shuns the emotionally distanced demeanor in favor of something darker and deadlier. I think the vocal style may unfortunately hinder fans of more epic doom or traditional doom from truly welcoming this record though, as both of these underlying vocal styles is unlikely to sit well with elitists. "Awaken in Dreams" is one of the more unique tracks on the record, sporting a quiet mellowed section that breaks up the B-sides. Closing track, "The Death of Innocence" closes the record appropriately for me. I get the feeling of the ending credits rolling, the theater emptying, until only one person remains, their killer having already disappeared into the night. - Contaminated Tones
California's Nomad Eel Records signs VESSEL OF LIGHT
Three years ago Cleveland's Nathan Opposition and NJ's Dan Lorenzo recorded their debut EP for Italy's Argonauta Records . Vessel of Light are now about to deliver their fourth record in less than three years. The first single is Last Ride which is also the name of the new release on California's Nomad Eel Records . Opposition and Lorenzo had previously recorded the single/video Son of Man from their Woodshed album before adding former Hades bassist Jimmy Schulman and longtime Overkill drummer Ron Lipnicki.
Vessel Of Light were in the middle of playing shows in March when Covid hit. The silver lining? Instead of releasing Last Ride in 2021 the band will now drop their opus Last Ride October 23rd.
"In both Hades and Non-Fiction we kind of fell apart after the second release", said Lorenzo. "I've never released four albums in less than three years for multiple reasons-one being that I've never been this inspired before. I had music to about ten songs written before we did our run of shows in March, but I wrote another seven during the lock-down. I was incredibly happy how smooth Ron and Jimmy came into the picture on our last release ( Thy Serpent Rise ) and we've only grown since then. Nathan never ceases to amaze me vocally. He outdid himself on our first single Last Ride. It sounds like it should be a hit-now I know and you know it's NOT going to be a hit song, but this is next level music. Not a typical uninspired band going through the motions."
Nathan Opposition stated, "I'm a big fan of horror movies and old school doom metal. I grew up listening to bands like Sleep, Electric Wizard, Eyehategod when I was 13-14 years old. Year round I'd be watching Suspiria , or Evil Dead, Dead Alive, Bad Taste and playing in punk and hardcore bands for years and years. when we started VOL Dan asked me to NOT write about the devil but he did mentioned he liked True Crime . Forensic files type stuff, I thought, "Oh it's on then!" That was the birth of the VOL content. The shadow man.
Jason Tarpey ( Eternal Champion , Graven Rite, Iron Age ) calls this " Arena Doom !"
" Living Dead to the World " is an appealing doom homage to everyone from BLACK SABBATH to WITCHFINDER GENERAL to SAINT VITUS - Blabbermouth
"This super-group of industry veterans consistently deliver amazing Stoner/Doom Metal in its most traditional, and awe inspiring form. I'm hooked, as every fan of the genre should be!"
Music Industry Insider and Co-Host of the nationally syndicated Rock Solid Pressure Show
"When I'm looking for a band to fill that slot that never disappoints, It's Vessel of Light. From original to cover. This is the group that fills the void."
* Host of The Foundry
Vessel of Light is one of the most relevant metal bands of today.
In a world with much noise, Vessel of Light cuts through it all to deliver some of the best metal being made today.
Pre order the full album now!
You can hear snippets from all ten songs and pre-order VESSEL OF LIGHT Last Ride digitally now at