It's been a while since I did musical recommendations, well maybe just a month. But I guess I discover new bands every month, so it's natural that at least one of them (out of the million bands out there) will be worth listening to and praising. They are difficult to find, believe me, and most of the new bands I discover are by accident, or maybe what some people would call "fate", this unidentified entity that I doubt exists.
The truth is I discovered Vertigo Steps by mistake. I was looking into the Portuguese bands that were labeled as "prog" not really thinking it'll be any or even if there were, not really thinking they would be really good. I assume this of all new bands I listened to, I assume they won't be very good because most of the bands really aren't. So it's a good place to start. If the band convinces me and proves me wrong, it'll be twice as good. Here we are, a Portuguese band. It's not that our metal scene isn't vigorous but sometimes there comes a pearl that shines more than the others. And this band is promising Vertigo Steps. Their self-titled album "Vertigo Steps" is so good you won't see it coming. Actually, and I've said this before, I think I like Vertigo Steps (the band) so much because they remind me of Green Carnation (now deceased unfortunately) and that nostalgic feeling was enough to make me feel warm inside. But then I was also able to see all the layers their music has. They are truly adventurous as a band, which is something I always regard as a positive sign, and most of all they write beautiful music. I say many times that I like beautiful music, whether it's black metal, death metal or the cleanest prog band. All of them write beautiful music and that's why I like them. I don't hide I fall in love with the melodies of the bands, and that's what music is all about, melody, and metal is melody, that's why I can't accept it being labeled "noise", because clearly it isn't that at all.
Back to Vertigo Steps, this album was released in 2008 and I only found out about it now, this means I was either too distracted and not looking in the right places. And so have most of you, because most people never heard of Vertigo Steps. Well, let me tell you all that you should all listen to this album because it's really a work of very talented people, who are good songwriters, know what they are doing, and they even write amazing lyrics, philosophical, thought-provoking, as it always such be in art, loving and painful. And you can hear a lot of love and pain on this album, but it's done with a good taste that makes me go back to Anathema. And this is really a big compliment, when I compare whatever a band does to Anathema. In this case, I think it's the sensitivity Vertigo Steps show to write really emotional songs as well. Emotional doesn't always have to be equated with frailty as some people seem to think.
Vertigo Steps are set to release their second album at the end of this year, 2010 for those who don't know, and at this point I'm really really excited about it. I defnitely believe that they can take it a little be further and do even better than what they did in Vertigo Steps, which is one of the best albums to ever come out of Portugal in the last few years, and that's saying a lot about a band who released their first album. I believe they will prove to be more than a promise and exceed themselves. If they don't, which is also a possibility, hard to believe though, they can still be very proud of their debut album Vertigo Steps, which is has more value than meets the end and it demands a lot of attention from the listener, a very common occurrence in bands that have a progressive vibe or feel in their music, and Vertigo Steps definitely have that background, of exploring their musical possibilities not really thinking about boundaries, which is, as it were, my personal definition of prog. It's dark, it's rock, it's metal, it's prog, it's acoustic, it's a great combination, everything comes together pretty well, you might even find it surprising but this band is here to stay.