November 3, 2022

Space Vacation is US-metal band from San Francisco and seem to be some sort of well-kept secret as this is the first time that I have come across them which is strange as they formed back in 2008 with White Hot Reflection being the band’s fifth album to date.

The self-titled debut came out in 2009 followed by Heart Attack in 2012, Cosmic Vanguard in 2014 and Lost In The Black Divide in 2017. It seems that this new album was planned to be recorded and released in 2020 but was delayed due to the COVID epidemic which obviously caused a 2-year delay but now, belatedly, the album is finally available much to the relief of their fan base. Indeed, Space Vacation is a band that should appeal to most of the hard rock and heavy metal fraternity as the style displayed on White Hot Reflection is an amalgam of NWOTHM, thrash and progressive metal.

As usual, the major influences seem to be derived from old school metal bands like Judas Priest, Van Halen and AC/DC and a liberal dash of melodic thrash to give it some oomph with the band utilising a twin-guitar barrage to create metal mayhem. There have been several changes and comings and goings since the inception with the line-up now being the ever-present Scott Shapiro on vocals and guitar with Kiyoshi Morgan on guitars, Kai Sun on bass and Eli Lucas on drums. Shapiro has a fine metal voice somewhat similar to Sean Harris and leads the band well and his combination with Morgan is incendiary and spectacular. Indeed, some of you may already know of the prowess and dexterity of Morgan as he was the guitarist on Vicious Rumours’ Razorback Killers album. Watch out for the drumming of Eli Lucas too as he is a musician who stamps his style all over the album with his power metal beats and huge, booming double bass drums. There are so many styles involved in the album that it almost makes you dizzy but all of it makes sense and all is designed to give the maximum metal boost and it is almost as if The Darkness, Fates Warning and Diamond Head had pooled their resources for a one-off record.

Great songs, excellent vocals and loads of wailing guitars makes this a welcome return for the band with a joyous and hard-hitting album than delivers on all fronts.

White Hot Reflection

  1. Reign In Hell (5:23)
  2. Playing With Fire (4:21)
  3. Transcending (5:07)
  4. Iceberg (4:54)
  5. Walk Away (4:34)
  6. Being Evil (3:33)
  7. Middle Ages (4:33)
  8. Burn With Me (4:36)
  9. Don’t Say It (4:40)
  10. Win The Night (5:04)
  11. Sleep Tight (1:57)
  12. When Heroes Die (3:59)
  13. Out Of Time (7:06)