VIH stands for Victory in Heaven and while this is a Cristian based
band, the format is someone different than the typical contemporary
Cristian Music CD which is filling the airwaves today. The music is
solidly into the blues & rock camp in style. The eleven songs on the CD
are all written by the band except for the opening song 'Message From
The King' written by Steve Wiggins and 'He set Me Free', a traditional
song in the public domain.
The music is good to excellent overall, and production is decent. Guitar
work overall is good to excellent. The vocals are reasonable although
there could be some more diversity on the vocal sound.
As far as the music goes, the tracks cover a variety of blues and rock
styles. Track 1, 'Message From The King" is a 12 bar blues boogie with
all the trappings that you would expect of a typical 12 bar blues. Track
3, 'Saved My Life' and Track 5 'Livin In The Light' have a Z.Z. Top
guitar lick sound to them without the big production. Track 4, 'Nothing
Can Keep Me From You' is a slow ballad almost Dylan'esk but with better
vocals than Dylan ever did. Track 8 'Worried Life Blues' lands solidly
into the Robin Trower style during his 'Bridge of Sighs' period. I
personally love the style of playing here. Track 9 'This Dying Day' is a
solid Texas Blues shuffle. Track 11, 'Victory In Heaven' is the lone
instrumental. It is unusual in the fact that it doesn't really start
until around 15 seconds into the track and then slowly rises in volume
until around 25 seconds. It's a solo acoustic piece, with some heavy
echo that finishes off the CD. Many of the songs have a familiar ring to
them like I've heard them before. Of course the blues rock area is hard
to break out of the familiar due to the constraints of the genre. These
guys are most likely a killer band in a live situation. I know that I
enjoy hearing music like this live. It's always fun and enjoyable.
If you like guitar driven blues then you may like this CD. The music is
very good overall, and the production and sound quality is good to
excellent overall. Bottom Line: packaging gets two stars, musical ability
gets three stars and vocals get two stars.
Web Site - www.vihband.com or www.sterlingkoch.com
e-mail - email@example.com
Larry Baudoin (drums & backing vocals)
Frank Ciambra (bass)
Sterling Koch (guitar, lead vocals)
This review is copyright © 2001 by Robert Murphy, and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved. Copy, duplication or download prohibited without written permission. For permission to use this review please send an E-mail to Ray Stiles.