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Eric VanLandingham – Meet My Demons: Review

In 2008, Eric VanLandingham released an album through Retrospect Records entitled Meet My Demons. There may not be a huge amount of publicity surrounding this record, but there certainly should be. This album is evidence that VanLandingham is devoid of the recognition he deserves.

The Music (rating: A-)

  1. Born
  2. Ignorance Shame
  3. You Die
  4. From the Outside
  5. 1000 Voices
  6. They Breathe
  7. No One Attacked
  8. Hypnosis
  9. The War on Sanity
  10. Nobody’s Home
  11. The Final Battle
  12. Welcome to Your Funeral

Meet My Demons has a nostalgic 80’s heavy metal feel. It shares little resemblance with the conventions of modern metal, which is a positive aspect. The style is highly complementary to the music; it’s not heavy just for the sake of being heavy. It is clear that the trends of the heavy metal community have little say in this album.

The purity and quality of the record is largely due to VanLandingham’s loyalty to the music rather than the industry. It is shown, by the natural feel and fluidity of the record, that the style of music is in his comfort zone. Nothing is forced. However, this also could mean that the album may not offer any “outside-the-box” musical innovation. And though this is not a complete truth, it is a lingering feeling. The fluency of the album comes from the artist’s familiarity with a well-defined style.

Still, the album is commendable for its high level of musicianship. It is here where most of the creativity is evident. The song lengths stay true to the music and do not force the typical “verse-chorus-bridge” structure, though that is not to say it is absent. Also, the occasional use of odd time signatures is highly effective in supporting the album’s flow. Most of the album is done in standard key signatures, but much is done within them. The most advanced musical tools may not have been used in the construction of the record, but the product is above and beyond the more standard tools that created it.

The instruments are well-balanced and versatile throughout the album. Both guitar and vocals have a strong mixture of clean and distorted passages, and they are done very well in each area. There are numerous drum lines that perfect song sections with creative rhythms and unique accenting. The bass also serves as a proper structural support for all the instruments. Without doubt, the rhythm of the guitar is consistently standout and are key in reinforcing the memorability of the well-phrased vocal lines. Every instrument is a valuable component to the album.

Overall, Meet My Demons is an outstanding album. Though it may not be impressively innovative, it excels in its musicianship and instrumental execution, as well as its natural flow. No doubt, this album is a must-buy. I sincerely hope to hear more from VanLandingham in the near future.

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