Reprinted from HARD ROXX Magazine, Issue #27 – December 1997
Life is a Game
Calm Before the Storm
With twenty seven tracks and two albums released in 1997 is Phil Vincent trying to beat Ten at their own Game?
This in it’s own right is a remarkable achievement, but is even more impressive when you consider that all the material is self written, self produced and where Vincent is credited with all the instruments. Has this man been working 24 hours a day?!
Information on this one man band (the releases having come via Germany) is sparse but these recordings, on an independent label, are impressive and will surely attract the attention of more major labels.
The song variety alternates from head on riff driven rock to keyboard dominated mid paced AOR. The song writing is to be admired and for the most part the production is good.
There are some great melodies on both albums. "In the Balance" and "Never Should Have" on "Calm Before the Storm" are perfect examples and would have the likes of Jeff Paris and Mark Spiro applauding. Vincent also demonstrates that he is a proficient guitarist with a series of excellent solos – does he have a cousin Vinnie?!
Least favorite track is "Evil’s Back" on "Life is a Game", where he abandons the overall AOR favor for a song akin to Judas priest! Reminiscent of a demo, the difference a main studio would have made becomes apparent.
In quality terms the C.D.’S are inseparable. If you want to try one out as a tester then I’m afraid the best advice I can offer is to toss a coin.
You’ll surely hear more of Phil Vincent in the future. Firstly give him that Lucozada sponsorship!