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