VINDICTIV – Ground Zero

VINDICTIV - Ground Zero
  • 8.5/10
    VINDICTIV - Ground Zero - 8.5/10


Escape Music
Release Date: May 28, 2009

User Review
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Swedish Melodic Rock/Progressive Metallers of Vindictiv started out in 2004. They recorded a demo in 2005 that received a lot of good reviews in their homeland. Shortly after the band saw changes in the line-up, singer Tommy Karevik (Seventh Wonder) left and Göran Edman (Yngwie Malmsteen, Karma) took over the microphone. Their debut album was released in 2008, and this year they’ve released their second effort, Ground Zero.

The band is more or less the brainchild of guitarist Stefan Lindholm. Lindholm is, beyond any doubt, inspired by the shredmaster himself, Yngwie Malmsteen, but there’s still something unique about his style. The guitar solos are played at an incredible speed and they’re melodic and great to listen to. He isn’t stuck in the same pattern, and he manages to do something new and interesting each time. Lindholm is also credited for writing all the music on this record and he has truly succeeded in writing music that differs from what you usually get from Metal bands these days. The combination of Melodic Rock with a dose of Power Metal and Progressive Metal is quite unique.

In spite of what you might think, this isn’t an album for the guitar wankers only. The melodies are strong and the solo parts are often divided between the guitar and the keyboard. It’s great to hear a band that plays cat and mouse solos where the two instruments are chasing each other, and not just using the keyboard for symphonic elements or just widening the sound. While listening to Ground Zero you’ll find that the songs are varied and the fact that they’ve mixed Melodic Rock with Progressive Metal just makes it more interesting. The songs evolve as they go and you are constantly exposed to new parts and new elements.

Another thing about the album is the three lead singers. We got Edman, who sings on most of the songs, and we’ve got Oliver Hartmann (At Vance, Avantasia) and Mark Boals (Yngwie Malmsteen, Royal Hunt). The fact that Edman sings on seven of the eleven tracks is a bit confusing. It’s not that Boals or Hartmann sings badly, in fact they sing great, it’s more that you don’t know whether this is a session thing for the different vocalists or if Edman is a full-time member of the band. If the reason was to add more diversity to the record, then they should perhaps have picked vocalists whose voices differs a bit more from each other than what these three offer. It’s not a big deal as they all sing great, but the reason for choosing different vocalists is a bit unclear.

The record was mixed by Chris Laney (Candlemass, Europe) and the mix is beautiful. It’s wide open and crystal clear which enables you to discover new things about the music each time you spin the record. Ground Zero is a breath of fresh air into the genre of Melodic Rock. The genre itself hasn’t evolved much in the last ten years, but mixing it up a bit, just like Vindictiv has done here, is definitely the way to go.


Stefan Lindholm – Guitars, keyboard
Göran Edman – Vocals on tracks: 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 9 & 10
Pontus Larsson – Keyboard
Nalle Påhlsson – Bass
Zoltan Csörsz – Drums

Additional musicians
Mark Boals – Vocals on track: 5
Oliver Hartmann – Vocals on tracks: 3, 7 & 11
Alex Argento – Keyboard
Leif Karlsson – Percussion
Ann Wallström – Baroque violin
Katarina Widell – Flute, recorders
Patrik Karlsson – Baroque guitar
Jonna Inge – Viola
Caroline Valdemarsson – Violin


  1. Modern World
  2. Ground Zero
  3. Reach Out
  4. Golden Gate
  5. Venom
  6. Tweedledum & Tweedledee
  7. I’m Back Home
  8. Martha’s Song
  9. Overshoot Day
  10. No Matter What
  11. The Sacrifice


  • Kristian Singh-Nergård

    Kristian is one of the partners at Metal Express Radio. He is Metal Express Radio's Marketing and Communications Manager, and on occasions also reviewer and photographer. Based out of Oslo, Norway, Kristian is a bass player and owner of the independent record label Pug-Nose Records. He has been a proud member of the Metal Express Radio crew since 2006.

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