Phil Vincent Bands.com

tragik - hungerHunger is the fourth and latest from Tragik, a trio fronted multi-talented musician and songwriter Phil Vincent. Based in Rhode Island, Tragik puts out intense melodic rock clearly influenced by some of the greatest metal acts of all time. Hunger is modern rock with a bit of the ‘80s mixed in, along with a dash of commercial metal, and just a bit of progressive rock.

Phil Vincent, the multi-instrumentalist, singer, producer and songwriter stands at the front of Tragik, handling lead vocals, keys, bass, and some guitars. His musical range allows the band to move from one style to another without any obvious hiccups or weak spots. Unlike other bands led by such a talent, Vincent does not allow himself to dominate the album. Damian D’Ercole plays most guitars, while Dirk Phillips handles the sticks quite capably. Guest musicians Vince O’Regan, David Zychek and Billy Roux contribute guitar solos and lead breaks. Phil has a good voice for rock – clear, smooth, and expressive. His overall vocal style was probably most influenced by Kip Winger and Don Dokken – and he fills those shoes well. He also produced and engineered Hunger, and did it without overemphasizing his own musical contributions to the CD allowing the talents of his band mates to shine. Damian D’Ercole plays a great rhythm guitar, laying down strong hooks and setting the mood for the songs nicely. He works well with Vincent’s keyboarding. Phillips is a solid rock drummer, doing exactly what is needed at the proper times without going over the top.
“Giving Up” kicks off on a high – great bass, driving drums, a great guitar line and a blistering full-on metal guitar solo. This is a song that epitomizes the music of Tragik – an old school sound with tons of modern flourishes. Keyboards and a near dance beat make “Don’t Say A Word” a radio-friendly rocker with a huge sweeping chorus and strong positive lyrics. “Look At Yourself” opens with some strong keys and a keeps a bit of a prog rock feel throughout, featuring neatly layered vocal harmonies at the chorus. “Eye In The Sky” is a 12 minute epic prog rocker that splits into three segments. The first is a mid-tempo keyboard rich section with some spiraling guitar fireworks, the second an up-tempo commercial rock chunk with a slick chugging guitar line and superb drums, and the third is a more blues rock segment with some Beatles influence – it has it all.
“I Will Remember” is a Dokken / Foreigner style rocker with strong bass work, good vocals and a slick rhythm line, and an explosive guitar solo. “For You” is a simple Bon Jovi-ish mid-tempo acoustic rocker with simple rhythms and heartfelt lyrics. “No Tomorrow” is another upbeat 80s style rocker, allowing Phil to show off his keyboard chops, and highlighting Dirk’s drumming ability. The smoky and heavy “This Is How It Has To Be” shows Phil’s vocals at their best, and the bluesy guitar solo by Vince O’Regan is nothing short of jaw dropping. The album wraps with “’Til the End of Time,” a simple mostly acoustic tune with a nice guitar solo and some light keyboard backing – think Extreme meets Boston and Bon Jovi…
All in all, Hunger is a very good album. Almost every fan of modern melodic rock will enjoy this, and any fan of the great band from the 1980s will find much to appreciate. Never harsh or discordant, Tragik proves that you can make modern rock without ripping off the greats that came before. Hunger is varied and unpretentious rock performed with lots of enthusiasm and a true love of the genre. With elements and influences culled from the past 4 decades, Phil and the boys have created another CD that fires on all cylinders.
Highly recommended.
 
By Joe Mis. Read the full article here.

 

'Hunger' is the fourth studio album for Melodic Hard Rockers Tragik.  Who are Tragik?  Well I’ll tell you.  They are Phil Vincent, Damian D’Ercole and Dirk Phillips, with guest appearances on the guitar front from Vince O’Regan, David Zychek and William Roux.
The album is straight up Hard Rock, built on a solid foundation of big riffs and towering drum a pumping bass line, with the icing on the cake being Vincent’s unmistakable vocals.
The album gets underway with ‘Giving Up’, a trailblazing opener that sets the bar for the rest of the album.  There is a maturity about this particular release, I think all parties have gelled well together on this album and this shown by the variety of the album.
This is felt with the second track ‘Don’t Say A Word’, as this one starts off with a little electro keyboards, you think you're in for a touch of 80’s pop rock, but then the track soon blows away that thought as the big licks come in courtesy of Mr O’Regan.
There’s a touch of old school with the storming ‘Look At Yourself’, before the 12 minute plus splendour of ‘Eye In The Sky’, a three part melodic roller coaster that will take you on the ride of your life, so much so, you’ll want another ticket to do it all over again.  This opus has more layers and elements than I can find superlatives for.  This is Melodic Rock at its modern best.
It's back to that 80’s felt Hard Rock with heavily influenced keyboard moments with ‘I Will Remember’, then it's time for a little unplugged moment with the excellent ‘For You’, before rocking things back up big style with ‘No Tomorrow’. 
Now it's time for Tragik to unleash the big bass lines and delve on the heavier path with one of my favourite tracks off the album ‘This Is How It Has To Be’, a real meat and bones rocker.  Sadly all good things must come to an end and the album closes off with a touch of the epic, with the haunting acoustic tones of the almost Beatlesque ‘Til The End Of Time’.
This is without a doubt the best Tragik album to date and shows how not only the band have developed, but it also shows that you can still be true to your roots but put enough modern spin on things to take this genre forward.  Come on, let's not only feel the 'Hunger' but let's taste it live!

Review by: Barry McMinn

Tracklisting:

1.  Giving Up
2. Don't Say A Word
3. Look At Yourself
4. Eye In The Sky
5. I Will Remember
6. For You
7. No Tomorrow
8. This Is How It Has To Be
9. Til The End Of Time  

 

by Joe Mis
- Senior Columnist –

PV - Face It CoverFace It is the latest release from melodic metal’s own one-man-band, Phil Vincent. Phil is out once again to prove that one man CAN do it all – and he succeeds. This is newest in a large and ever-growing discography that includes not only his solo efforts, but also his work with melodic metal bands Tragik, D’Ercole, Circular Logik, and Legion. Solar Flare is a full-length bonus CD, one originally released as a digital download in 2012.

Vincent continues to prove himself to be one of the true Renaissance men of modern rock, handling almost every aspect of his recordings both in front of and behind the microphone, as well as working both sides of the mixing board. He plays guitar, bass, drums, and keys, he writes (or co-writes in rare cases) all of his songs, and produces and engineers his own CDs, so a Phil Vincent album truly IS a Phil Vincent album. Originally a drummer and songwriter, Vincent grew like a weed into other instruments and studio operations until he could do it all. Unlike other multi-instrumentalists, Phil can sing as well as play, and writes songs with a firm grasp of lyrics and an ever-present sense of melody. Influenced by everyone from the Beatles to Kiss, Phil Vincent’s music is a treat for the ear, and an inspiration to any aspiring musician.

Both Face It and Solar Flare are solid, riff-driven melodic rock / metal releases, with the former being more diverse and the latter heavier and more “metal.” As listeners have come to expect, Phil delivers his music with enthusiasm and passion. Besides the multi-layered vocals, he also plays rhythm guitar, bass, drums and keyboards on all tracks – and plays all of them remarkably well. He also does a number of lead guitar solos himself, but he has called in Vince O’Regan, David Zychek, Billy Roux, Michael J. Sprague, Paul Columbo, and Steven Albanese to assist with the six-string fireworks. Overall, Phil’s music is packed with diverse melodies, big guitar hooks, and well-written lyrics that take the classic sound of 80’s and 90’s hard rock and modernizes it without sterilizing it.

PV - Solar FlareThis pair of CDs contains a little bit of everything. Face It runs the gamut from crunchy rhythm lines (“Long Hard Road,” “Is This All There Is?”) to pop-rock tracks (“Sooner Or Later,” “Nothing But Time”) to heavy but melodic rock (“Can’t Go Back,” “Divided”) to epic guitar histrionics (“Make Up Your Mind”). “We All Die Young” is a fine mellow keyboard epic with poignant lyrics and strong vocals – showcasing Vincent’s songwriting skills at their best. Phil’s best vocal lines are arguably on the slower “Changes,” a track that features introspective lyrics, many vocal layers, and smoking hot guitars. “Full Circle” even has touches of progressive/alternative rock. The influences of Dokken and Winger are obvious, but Phil’s sound is completely modern.

Solar Flare is the older of the two albums, and there are some differences. The music tends to be a little heavier, and the mix is not quite as solid – most notably on the vocals. Again, the CD boasts a number of styles ranging from gritty hard rock (“On The Run”) to heavy bass-driven blues-influenced tracks (“Northern Lights”) to arena rockers (“Better Walk Away”), pure metal (“Catching Fire”) and power ballads (“The Last Goodbye”). All are written with the expected Phil Vincent flair and sense of melody, so despite the rougher vocals (really only noticeable if you’ve just listened to Face It) Solar Flare is a winner as well.

The production and engineering are very good, and Phil shows that he is equally adept behind the mixing board. All of the instruments are well balanced and clear, and Vincent has done a fine job with his multi-layered vocals. Phil’s songwriting skills are apparent as well – everything is tight and performed beautifully, and with spirit. His small supporting cast – mostly guitar soloists – does a superb job throughout. No filler material here!

Simple recommendation – pick up Face It / Solar Flare if you like rock of almost any kind. Fans of any hard rock or metal genre will be able to find something here that they will like (well, except for death metal or female-fronted…). The mix of modern rock styles is impressive and all are well executed. Phil Vincent manages to avoid falling into the rut of routine and keeps his music lively, fresh, and always melodic! When you consider that he is a “one man band” through both CDs, Phil Vincent proves himself to be nothing short of amazing.

Genre: Hard Rock, Metal

Face It Band:
Phil Vincent (vocals, guitars, keyboards, bass, drums)
Guest musicians: Vince O’Regan (guitar solos on tracks 3, 4, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11); David Zychek (guitar solo on 2); Billy Roux (guitar solo on 8); Michael J. Sprague (rhythm & acoustic guitars on 13)

Solar Flare Band:
Phil Vincent (vocals, guitars, keyboards, bass, drums)
Guest musicians : Paul Columbo (rhythm guitars on 14, 15, 19, 22); Steven Albanese (rhythm guitar on 16); Vince O’Regan (guitar solos on 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 20, 22, 24, 25)

Track Listing:

Face It
1. The Lost Self
2. Long Hard Road
3. Make Up Your Mind
4. Sooner or Later
5. We All Die Young
6. Is This All There Is?
7. Can’t Go Back
8. Burning Bridges
9. Changes
10. Divided
11. End of the Line
12. Nothing But Time
13. Full Circle

Solar Flare (Bonus CD)
14. On The Run
15. Northern Lights
16. Make Believe
17. Better Walk Away
18. All Over You
19. This Is The Moment
20. The Last Goodbye
21. Angel
22. Catching Fire
23. Between Us
24. Coup De Gras
25. It’s Finally Over

Label: Phil Vincent Music

Website: http://www.philvincent.com/

Hardrock Haven rating: 9/10

 

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