Updates: Venturia, Vajra, and Progtopia!

Things have been hectic lately between Thanksgiving, preparations for Christmas, and life in general. So we have a lot of catching up to do today: two CD reviews for Sonic Cathedral, and a reference to one of those reviews on a podcast!

First is my review of Venturia’s third album, Dawn Of A New Era. This album marks two major changes for the French melodic prog metal band. #1: The band has a new drummer and a new male vocalist (in current band member and founding guitarist Charly Sahona), and the vocal focus is now on female singer Lydie Lazulli instead of on the male singer. #2: Venturia has simplified their sound from quirky, experimental electro-prog to more straightforward, balanced melodic metal with reminders of the band’s unconventional roots. No wonder they named their album Dawn Of A New Era – and it’s “an era that shows real promise.”

Click here to read my review of Venturia’s Dawn Of A New Era.

Next is my review on Pleroma, the debut album by Vajra. This NYC-based band, founded by singer / songwriter / multi-instrumentalist Annamaria Pinna, combines progressive rock with Indian music. However, the Indian music is actually the more dominant style. As I point out in my review of Pleroma, “[it’s] as though Pinna focused on the Indian-inspired rhythms and melodies first and then wove in the rock influences… [Also, the] diction and subject matter (mostly spirituality and introspection) fits the music’s zen like a sword in its sheath.” This is hands down the most hypnotic album I’ve ever covered for Sonic Cathedral, and one of the most unique.

Click here to read my review of Vajra’s Pleroma.

Along the Vajra vein, my review of Pleroma was referenced in the latest episode of Progtopia! This Podomatic podcast airs every 2 to 3 weeks and features a wide variety of progressive rock and metal acts, both well-known and up-and-coming. Each episode (about 45 minutes in length) is dedicated to one artist and consists of an interview as well as clips of the featured artist’s songs. I’ve listened to several Progtopia episodes since the show began earlier this year, and I’ve found this show to be informative as well as entertaining. It’s great to discover new bands and to learn so much about their careers, artistry, and little-known facts about them. So, many thanks to Progtopia and host Mark Ashby for the shout-out! And keep up the awesome work.

Click here to listen to Progtopia’s episode “Inside The Flame Of Vajra.” The review is referenced during the first 2 to 3 minutes. And if you like the style of this podcast, make sure to check out other Progtopia episodes.

Finally, in case it’s a while before my next website update, I wish you and yours the happiest of holidays!

~ Sara

3 thoughts on “Updates: Venturia, Vajra, and Progtopia!

  1. Hi Sara, I’m sorry it took me so long to find you and respond. I read your comment on my blogspot (Kvmacc.blogspot.com) and it was absolutely the kindest thing to reach out and tell me you were moved by my poems. That means the world to me. I recently read your poem At a Loss on Eunoia Review and I loved it, the story it tells, the imagery, the diction is so strong, and I love how you end it. It’s incredibly evocative. So look at that, we both moved each other! Anyway, this has nothing to do with your post, but I wanted to get in touch with you. Thank you for reaching out. Keep writing.

    -Katherine MacCue

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    • Thanks, Katherine! I’m thrilled (in a quiet and humbled sort of way) that “At A Loss” touched you so much. So yes, it’s good that we both moved each other! I hope you keep writing as well. 🙂

      Sorry it took me a while to respond, by the way. Preparing for the upcoming holidays have kept me busy and away from the blog.

      ~ Sara

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      • Hi Sara, I have no idea where else to reply, can’t seem to find a button on your website so I thought I’d leave it here…basically the pushcart prize nod was special b/c the ladies at Stone Highway Review are incredibly gifted writers and to know they liked my work enough to nominated me makes me feel really good about my work. I am in no way going to get Special Mention or anything of the sort, I’m just excited and shocked I got the nom. It’s probably the last time I’ll get one, too! I was lucky, I guess. Seriously though, you should check out Stone Highway Review, I think they’d love your poetry. Anyway, this is me, signing out,

        -Katherine

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