Album Reviews
Band: Phil Vincent

Title: Stigmata

Label: Rock Company Records


Well, what do you do on a day off from work? Laze about, go for a walk even though it's stotting down with rain?? Nope, this reviewer has a better way of spending some down time ... and that's getting to review the latest solo (23rd??) album from the ever busy Phil Vincent.  A man who's work rate puts the 'big stars' to shame, and 'Stigmata' is one of the best of his career.  So take note you lazy buggers who think you can just sit back on yer laurels and rely on your past endeavours to get you through!! 

This release from the main man here may kick off with the rifferama that is 'No End In Sight', ballsy n# rocked to the hilt, but there's also a tad more of a Melodic tint here than you would expect from Phil this time, 'My Darkness', with it's keyboard-infused ballad-alike shadow hovering over it.  Though the guitar work keeping the track powerful enough to keep the average Rock fan on side, especially when a cracking solo from Vince O'Regan rams it's way in.  'Time' which has an 80's vibe all over it due to the pulsating, poppy keys that reverberate like there's no tomorrow.  Again Phil's guitar giving the song an edgy feel just at the right moments, but it is the keys here that rule the roost, as they do on the Buggles -alike intro'd 'Reason to Believe', though that comparison exits stage left when Max Piccolo's drums kick in properly along with the power chords and the song takes on a stronger pattern altogether, keys still intact, but not as prominent as the intro. 

Keeping with those keys, 'It Don't Matter Any More' fires up quite dramatically due to them sounding so....dramatic at time you could say, and that is the vibe of this song as a whole, a rocked up Europe meets Foreigner if you will, and that's in a good way  as well!!


There are still a couple or so 'beefy toons' to get your teeth into, 'My Life' that rocks like a good 'un, verging on Metal at times the six-string sounding like a bag of angry wasps as it cuts away at the song, though you can't ignore the thumping rhythm section of Piccolo and Phil's bass for giving the track that extra 'oomph' as well, and the galloping rocker 'Hideaway' that, once out of the blocks races away like a thoroughbred that's been slyly fed 3 Mars Bars and the sugar has just kicked in.  Then finally 'Don't turn Your Back' and this song literally has everything in it's locker when it comes to a Rock song, huge riffs, soaring solos, hammering drums, bludgeoning bass=lines and powerful vocals all in the mix, which you come to expect from Mr. Vincent and Co. judging on his past work, and it's worth checking out, solo and collaborations so you can see why i have a high regard for the fella. 

The lads fall into ballad territory face first on the haunting gem 'So Tired;, where Janne Stark takes over the lead guitar and comes up trumps with a great atmospheric solo or two.  Yet as much as this song is a stand out track, you will be pleasantly surprised by Phil's take on The Beatles classic track 'Eleanor Rigby'!  Yes you read that right, folks, 'Eleanor Rigby', and for once, someone has the balls to put their own stamp on such a song instead of doing or trying to do an exact copy of the original.  Beginning with a simple vocal/keyed intro, the song is then taken to another level with the stuttering riffage and snappy snare before the floodgates open and a new rockier life is given to the song ... and it sounds great!! Thing is, when you actually listen to the lyrics, which when it comes to Beatles song we always do, the continuing use of 'all the lonely people' ... quite apt for the times we're living in at the moment.  Well thought of Phil!


And there you have it folks, another cracking solo album from Rock worlds hardest worker, Phil Vincent, and one that you definitely need to check out ... so go on then, don't just sit there reading this, it's called 'STIGMATA'!!!

Review by: Robb Baldwin



1.  No end in Sight
2.  My Darkness
3.  Time
4.  My Life
5.  It doesn't matter Anymore
6.  Hideaway
7.  So Tired
8.  Don't turn your Back
9.  Eleanor Rigby
10. Reason to Believe


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