Embers of Ares (2015)


TheMetalReview.com: Vince LuPone - Embers of Ares

Excerpt: "Vince LuPone’s Embers of Ares takes subtle influence from shred and moulds it with some of the best modern metal the Arizona desert has to offer! Be sure to check out this phenomenal album. I’m giving it 5 stars. If I could instead grade it out of 10 stars, I’d probably be tempted to give it an 11. Outstanding."




SleepingBagStudios.ca: Vince LuPone - Embers of Ares

Excerpt: "Consider me a huge fan of what Vince has accomplished here. It sounds new, it sounds creative & inventive, has amazing sonic-depth…I honestly couldn’t take my ears off of this."


Entertwine.net - Rising Artist Interview: Vince LuPone

Excerpt: Could you tell us about the most exciting or interesting live performances you’ve been a part of? "I think my most interesting live performance was a few years ago when our crowd was too big for the venue. We were playing this little dive bar in Tempe that could maybe hold 50 people, and we brought about 200. We over-packed the place, and played our heaviest music. The club kept warning the crowd to stop moshing but they had no ability to turn the music off or control us, and we just played a great, high-energy set. The show was rowdy, noisy, and a blast to play."




Screaming into the Abyss (2005)

UltimateGuitar.Com - Vince LuPone: Screaming into the Abyss

The guitar songs never seem to get repetitive on this album, and each song is so different from the one before it, it keeps you entertained and wanting more.

Overall: 4.7

Sound: OK, so I got this CD from a guy in the mail last week. He wants me to review his album for him, so I said hey why not? I almost didn't listen to it, mainly because I didn't want to review another wanky shred guy's album (most of them suck). I did cave in early last week and listen, and man, am I glad I did. I wasn't prepared for what this album sounds like. The sound is huge! The rhythm guitars sound like something off an In Flames album and the drums and bass absolutely cook throughout the whole album. The lead guitar lines are smooth and beautiful, and LuPone knows how to kick ass when he needs to as well. It sounds as if you put Joe Satriani, Moby, Marilyn Manson, and James Hetfield all in a studio together and locked the doors.

Once I found out it was recorded in a home studio, and that LuPone had recorded every instrument (even a few cello lines) himself, I was even more floored. This album is major label quality, and it was all done by one guy. The album is also suprisingly varied. There's everything on there from speed metal, to pounding southern rock, electronica and even some new age. The guitar songs never seem to get repetitive on this album, and each song is so different from the one before it, it keeps you entertained and wanting more. [5]

Lyrics: There's only 3 songs with vocals on them. Vince LuPone isn't a singer by trade, and while it's not his strong point, he's really no slouch. In the moving and enchanting song "By The Time You Hear This" LuPone confronts serious emotional turmoil and it sounds like it's either a suicide song or a song about removing a toxic person from your life. I think it was left artistically ambiguous, but I'll let you be the judge on that. Sometimes his voice can sound a bit bland, and this song probably would have been better with someone like Amy from Evanescence. Either way, though, it's a great moody song Type O Negative fans and Dream Theater fans will absolutely eat up.

Now the first song was good, but the second lyrical song absolutely blew my mind. "Forever In A Day" is the hands down best song on the entire CD. First, for you prog guys, the song's in 5/4 time. Second, it's got a hard Marilyn Manson/NIN vibe going on throughout, and third, the vocals are downright scary. The lyrics go through dramatic and violent scenes from a nightmare as LuPone recants the details viscerally. His use of metaphor is outstanding and the pounding, thundering music behind the words sets the stage. The song goes through peaks and valleys, and the music is laid out well with the vocals, at times even jolting the listener with extreme changes in volume or texture that hit just like waking up in a cold sweat. [4]

Overall Impression: This album is fantastic, and even though it says LuPone is on a record label, I honestly haven't heard of Weeping Shadow Records yet. Maybe they're a new independant, or maybe LuPone just made it up. Either way, this guy needs to get signed to a big label and fast. His music is so versatile, he could easily play concerts with anyone from Satriani to Dream Theater, to opening for Metallica in a huge arena. My overall rating of Vince LuPone's "Screaming Into The Abyss" is a perfect 5 out of 5. A masterpiece. Watch out world, here comes a great new guitarist! [5]

Sevenstring.org Artist Spotlight: Vince LuPone: Screaming into the Abyss

The music world is full of stereotypes, and as such, predominately instrumental artists often get shoved into categories. Guitarist X is a shredder, a rock guitarist, a fusion player, a jazz artist - the list goes on. So when I received my copy of Vince LuPone's Screaming into the Abyss in the mail I, admittedly, expected it to fall into at least one of the above categories. I was sure there'd be a splash of something different, perhaps in a segue or an intro, but the majority of the albums that I receive usually fit a certain mold. Not to say this is bad, simply common.

Boy, was I wrong.

Screaming into the Abyss isn't a shred album, nor a fusion album, nor a run of the mill prog guitar album - it's all of the above and a lot more. Most impressively, it never once feels like it's doing "something different" for the sake of being different. The whole album flows from beginning to end without feeling as though you're listening to "A prog guitarist playing a slow tune", or "A rock guitarist playing in offtime". Quite simply put, Vince LuPone's album is a seamless array of well written, well played and extremely versatile tracks that run the gambit between moving melodies and aggressive chaos.

The opening track, Spirits Rise, sets a mood that Vince carries throughout. There's a sense of anticipation and pressure building from the synth intro, the syncopated melodies and the overall vibe of the song. Just long enough to make you want to see where he goes from there, it's a perfect mix of heavy melodies, Vince's terrific harmonies and a lush sense of songwriting rhythm and timing. In short, it does a perfect job of setting you up for the absolute punch-in-the-face heavy Lay't Down, a wicked 3 minute wah-laden stomp that's a barrage of low end dynamics and some stellar solo sections. The key here is maintaining tension and a feeling of "pressure". It's an earful, it's tastefully done and is all around solid songwriting that leads into Haven from Silence - a song with melodic tips of the hat to classic Iron Maiden and Queensryche, but is unmistakably Vince LuPone.

Going forward, Vince isn't afraid to experiment - and with hauntingly lush results. From the Cello intro to By the Time You Hear This, the rip-roaring blast Trail of Light, to the almost electronica feel of Forever in a Day, each song maintains Vince's fantastic sense of melody and outright stellar songwriting. He throws in some vocals (which are a nice surprise), and yet again in perfect unison with his backline the end result is impressive.

And now to the really, really good stuff.

Nothing True, a clean, beautiful song starts out with an intro that is simply gorgeous and drops into a haunting, reverb-laden twist of a track that's part heartbreaking and part uplifting. Moving on to At Peace, Vince again delivers a crisp, light and airy clean instrumental that is, quite frankly, beautiful. It shades of hope, light, peace and sadness all in one breath and it's a total earful without ever becoming overcomplicated. This all leads into, in my opinion, the best track on the album - Greater Day. Here, all of Vince's strong points come together in what sounds at first listen to be a relatively simple song. The fact that he can mix up 4/4, 6/8 and harmonize in 11/8 without ever losing the feel of the song is something that a lot of the more well-known "prog" guys even fuck up from time to time. The ability to mix complex songwriting into a very accessible tune is Vince LuPone's trademark. It takes several listens to realize just what he's doing on almost every track, and it's downright impressive the more you listen to it.

All in all this is one hell of a first release. Self written, produced and engineered, it's impossible to not only enjoy the shit out of Screaming into the Abyss, but be straight out impressed at Vince's all around musicianship, sense of melody and time and the glaring obvious: This is an album that he cared a TON about and had a great time playing. There's a great nod to Joe Satriani (Song for Joe) as well, and with a listen to the rest of the album you can hear the monstrous range of influences evident throughout it.

This isn't leaving my CD player for quite some time. As far as Screaming into the Abyss's title track - I'll leave it up to you to judge for yourself. You won't be disappointed.

- Chris / Sevenstring.org

Louis Schanz on ASFN.com:

G3 within a few years should add on Phoenix, AZ, guitar virtuoso, Vince LuPone to the bill. On his debut solo release "Screaming Into The Abyss", LuPone proves that he can emerge center stage from behind the "Cast of Shadows" and make a lasting impact. Not only is LuPone gifted/fluid on guitar, but he exhibits versatility all throughout the c.d. with his well-crafted use of the cello, piano, bass, and propulsive drumming. 

The album gets off to a rousing start with "Spirits Rise" which is punctuated with LuPone's proficient use of the double bass which is reminiscent to Fear Factory's Raymond Herrara. The following song "Lay't Down" is a complete blitzkrieg thrashing metal assault. When LuPone is not conveying the essence of his soul with his emotionally wrenching electric/acoustic guitar playing, he manages to do so with his multi-dimensional vocal delivery. “By The Time You Hear This” he exposes his very passionate/melancholy side, especially with those very compelling lyrics and elaborately done changes complete with his poignant use of the cello. “Forever In A Day” has a rather “cosmic feel” in the beginning and then evolves in a “haunting” song complete with Lupone’s shimmering vocal delivery. The “stand-out” to me is “Song For Joe” which his very own ode to his personal icon, Joe Satriani that would even cause “Satch” to 2nd guess how he recorded “Summer Song” with his explosive “tour-de-force” of multi-layered guitar.. 

The album elicits a myriad of moods consisting of enchantment, triumph, energy, and sophistication. Not only does LuPone excel as a musician, but his crisp production work ranks up there with the most seasoned of producers. LuPone’s well versed repertoire creates a superior landscape that would cause each listener to yearn for more, and I for one cannot wait to see what his future holds. True, he might be included on the G3 tour within the near future, in fact I believe he is worth the price of admission alone.

Daniel Halberg interviewing Vince on GuitarGearHeads.com:

GuitarGearHeads - Artist Spotlight
Vince LuPone "Screaming Into the Abyss"

Welcome to the GuitarGearHeads artist spotlight. We decided to start this section to periodically highlight bands and individual artists who frequent the GGH community. This gives us a wonderful chance to highlight great new music direct from our members.

Recently we had an opportunity to interview an up and coming guitar legend, Vince Lupone! I actually invited Vince to drop on by the GGH website not too long ago. Luckily for us he has elected to keep us posted on the progress of his album.

I received an advance copy Vince's debut album, titled "Screaming Into the Abyss" a couple of weeks ago. I must admit - it was good enough to take up a permanent slot in the cd changer in my car. It is one of the best "windshield" albums I've heard in a long time. Every time the disc spins up, I find myself entranced by Vince's fluidity and artful composition. This album truly represents some of the best guitar work I've heard in a long time.

I was so impressed, I decided to drop Vince a few interview questions.

1. You are definitely an instrumental virtuoso. How does writing an instrumental song differ from writing a song that is more lyrical?

Instrumental songs aren’t too much different than vocal songs. With a vocal song, most of the time the guitarist just has to come up with a few riffs, or a few chord changes, and your part is basically done. I played in bands for a number of years, and we did some pretty complex music, but the instrumental stuff is definitely the most challenging music I’ve ever had to play. The lead guitar can’t just repeat the melody over again for the second verse, it has to be completely different. The music must have a natural ‘ebb and flow’ to it to keep the listener’s attention, because there’s no voice to identify with, no vocal hook, and there are no words to sing along to. The instrument becomes your voice, and you have to keep the listener actively involved. The song structure basically stays the same, but there are more moving parts and a whole lot more stress on your playing.

2. Those guitar sounds on your album are really thick and heavy. Obviously, you are using that 7-string to great effect. What else are you doing to make those huge sounds?

I love 7-string guitars. They’re got a very natural feel to me. I’m kinda glad the whole 7-string guitar fad is over, to be honest, because it makes players like myself more unique. As for style, technique, those kinds of things… I started out playing old-school thrash in my bedroom as a teenager. The James Hetfield / Scott Ian rhythm guitar style is really the basis of my rhythm guitar playing. It’s all in the palm mute and how you hit and fret the strings.

3. You knew this question was coming. What is your favorite gear? Do you use different gear when recording as opposed to your live performance?

I don’t think I really have a favorite piece of gear. Well, I guess the thing that’s stayed with me the longest is my preamp. I’ve been playing an old Rocktron Chameleon preamp since about ’97. I think that model really suffered in stores because people seem to just want to plug into an amp and go, and this unit really required you to sit down and understand EQ before you could get a really good sound.

I use slightly different gear when I play live. In the studio, I went direct for everything. Live, I play through an amp and speakers, so it’s different. The rack is basically the same, just with a few tweaks to different sounds to make them sound better live. So while I don’t use different gear live, really, I do use different sounds and effects.

4. We know you are still in the process of shopping your new demo, but what advice can you give to young musicians trying to make a name for themselves?

Just promote yourself. Get out in the clubs, network, make phone calls, office visits, get to know people. Drop the ego, because no one’s coming to you to buy or promote your album, you have to go seek out them.

5. A lot of beginners will look at your work and say "Man, I'll never be that good!" Can you give some advice on how you built up your chops to the level you are at?

Thanks for the compliment. I’d say to not just listen to music that’s catchy or has a cool guitar player, but really seek out music that inspires you. There’s a lot of musicians I listen to that are nowhere near my style, but I can find a lot of inspiration in their music. Take Stanley Jordan, for example. I’ll probably never be able to play guitar in the unique 2-handed way he does, but his absolute mastery of the instrument and his ability to channel himself through the guitar… I think that’s what every true musician aspires to. When you're inspired, you'll be surprised what you're capable of.


Here’s yet another quality CD from someone who does everything on his own. VINCE LUPONE comes out of Arizona/USA and the first track of his CD ‘Screaming into the abyss’ hits like a hammer, because this is fantastic hard hitting midtempo melodic progressive metal, with beautiful guitar melodies in the classic VAI/SATRIANI/PETRUCCI ranks. The only thing that might put some people off here is the drum programming, which makes it sound a bit modern a la MARILYN MANSON, but because it’s instrumental and the fact that Vince can especially the guitar very well, this is another must-have CD for anyone into instrumental progressive metal. Most of the tracks move on in the same style, so from start to finish this is a quality CD, with once again the mention of Vince being his best as the guitarist, although he also plays bass and keys.

This is the way how real metal with real guitars should sound instead of all the Nu-Metal crap that nowadays comes out of the USA. Vince is a very talented man, and his CD is much-recommended to the fans of real music.

(Points: 8.3 out of 10)




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