Viasava – One Year Down
Viasava is the brainchild of former Dear Enemy members Gogi Randhawa (guitarist/vocalist) and Alex Dorminy (drums) with bassist John Ballard and lead singer Dustin Lowery, best known as the former lead singer for the New Era Project and brother of Clint (Sevendust, Call Me No One) and Corey Lowery (Dark New Day, Eye Empire). While the members of Viasava blazed paths to moderate success in other projects, Viasava takes their talents to a whole new level on One Year Down.
From the very first note One Year Down grabs you and refuses to let go. The anthemic “New Frontier”, their lead single, unsurprisingly, is my EMURGpick.
For those of you who are not really familiar with Dustin Lowery’s vocals, he has a much higher register than his brothers. Vocally, he reminds me more of Chris Cornell or Myles Kennedy than either of his brothers. “New Frontier” is the kind of song that makes you want to conquer the world and is the perfect way to open the album. This song should be played on Sirius/XM’s Octane amongst other nationally renowned rock stations.
“Misbehave” is extremely catchy and would be a really good followup single if this album blows up. This song has a bit of a Sevendust-ish groove to it with the Black-esque electro-intro. Gotta appreciate that while Dustin’s vocals are really for singing, he’s not afraid to let out a scream every now and again. It gives One Year Down a nice balance.
“Hell to Pay” has got a really great ticking intro. I love the dynamic of the acoustic guitar and the explosive, crisp, crashing choruses.
“All I Need” is one of the more accessible songs on the album, but it is not a pop song by any means. I like that they didn’t have to compromise their overall heavier sound to include something a bit more mainstream-ish. I also love the urgency of the chorus. “All that I need in this life’s right here in front of me/ Open my arms to the fear that’s inside of me/ All that I need in this life’s right here in front of me/ Taking the shares of a lifetime is all I see…”
“Terrified” has one of the most exciting intros on the album and is arguably the heaviest song. “I’m emotionless/ I’m embracing this/ Somehow I still feel alive….” These are the lyrics to some of the chorus, which again indicate the urgency throughout the album. This is my second favorite song on the album. I love that the harmonies in the bridge take nothing away from the heavy.
Viasava really hit their stride on “Undivided”. Again, the harmonies on the album are gorgeous and take nothing away from the band’s tightness and heaviness. This track provides the best display of Dustin’s vocals. He has such a smooth delivery and the harmonies are perfect.
The album finally slows down a bit with the mid-paced and piano-laden “Different Man”. The versatility of Viasava continues to shine with this beautiful number.
“Facedown” continues the slowed down pace of the album with a song that will leave you swaying. The lyrics “Can’t hold you back to truly feel happy for once and bring a light to my darkest days…” are amongst my favorite.
I love the dichotomy of “Getting By”. It has a sinfully dirty riff with hints of an organ that takes you straight to church in The Bible Belt.
“Break Away” has another electronic intro that leads to the almost punkish rhythm of the song. “Time to say I can not fall down I will not fall down/ Break away/ Break the walls down/ Break the walls down”. The lyrics of “Break Away” are extremely inspirational and makes you want to escape your doldrums.
“I Smell Trouble” is a track that would not be out of place as a soundtrack to a horror movie. It’s not a bad song, mind you, but on an album where so many others stand out, it’s going to be the forgotten gem on One Year Down.
The album concludes with the strings-based “Chasing Footprints”, the band’s biggest departure from their overall sound. I love that this song is almost chant-like with the repetition of the chorus: “Please don’t leave me now/ I’m chasing footprints to keep up with you somehow/ All I need is for you to believe….” The one line that puts the exclamation on this song was, “I’ve got to stay true to myself/ I’ve got to stay true.”
Viasava stays true to its sound and delivers the best debut album I’ve heard all year thus far. And in a year of loaded album releases from Sent by Ravens, Nine Lashes, Hurt, and other national acts, Viasava’s One Year Down stands right with the best of them.Viasava - One Year Down,
Viasava Music Video
Viasava - One Year Down,