Do not even dare to compare this with Nightwish or any of their numerous clones! This is something different, individual and extremely memorable! If you need a hint, think early Theatre Of Tragedy, but I´m still uncomfortable comparing this with anything, Vanguard has too much personality of their own and this makes them stand out at once. At their concert overwhelmed audience was only turning heads to each other with their mouths open, wondering how come Vanguard is not huge already! Jewels like this sadly don´t come up easily and stay underground, recognized by only a few.
Although you´ll be breathless while listening to the entire “Succumbra”, what stood out the most for me were the dark and dramatically elegant beauties “Forgive” and “Nova”. For a debut record this is perfection!
Suvi.G and J.Grym make a stunning duet and each other´s voice cannot fit better not just among themselves, but to magnificent blood-chilling melodies – honestly, I can´t ask for more! There is metal, there are original, meaningful lyrics and hopelessness, yet drive and electricity, symphonic parts and emotional doom growling, but all in well-balanced proportion to make it complete and genuine.
This is a very rare combination of quality, beauty and style, both in music and whole presentation. I´m not shallow, but in my opinion bands automatically deserve more respect when they take their appurtenance as seriously, as everything else they´re doing - the whole package counts and in my eyes, Vanguard achieved it all.