August 23, 2021

VHF is a project put together by three outstanding musicians in Joel Hoekstra (Whitesnake, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Night Ranger), Tony Franklin (The Firm, Blue Murder) and Todd ‘Vinny’ Vinciguerra with the album Very High Frequency originally being released in 2014 and now getting a much deserved re-release.

This is one of those albums that require several plays to fully appreciate exactly what is happening and then you begin to understand all of the intricacies and subtleties of the work and you then see it for the glorious and totally progressive work that it is. It appears that the musicians took something of a jazz approach to the album when formulating the concept with each musician creating his own individual work and then seamlessly slotting the pieces together so that you have a real sense of freedom in the playing. The music was all composed independently and each musician given his own freedom to take the music in whichever direction they felt best and although this sounds like a recipe for chaos it has enabled them to create a work that borders on genius. If you were expecting a metal album with a crescendo of guitars then you may, initially, be a little disappointed but this will not last long as you then bathe in the sheer glory of the work that they have produced with a real groove that keeps you hooked throughout.

The interplay between bass and drums is exquisite with some of the fretless bass of Tony Franklin being amongst the best you will hear and Vinny Vinciguerra laying down a real jazz infused backdrop. Joel Hoekstra then takes us all though the emotions as he alternates between metal god through to Django Reinhardt in all of his glory and all points in between. Virtually instrumental, the work is a truly progressive one as the musicians explore so many themes and show such a level of dexterity and song writing finesse without it ever appearing overblown or pretentious but more an exercise in musical exploration and perfection. There is so much happening here and it is almost as though Led Zeppelin, John Coltrane and Gentle Giant got together and decided to create a genre crossing world music delight.

You simply have to listen to this but it needs several plays for it all to fall into place and when it does then it will surely become an integral album in your collection.

Very High Frequency track list

  1. Shattered Insomnia (7:13)
  2. Whispers Of The Soul (4:39)
  3. Suspended Animation (5:04)
  4. Conception To Death (For 8 Guitars) (2:13)
  5. Invisible Thread (5:07)
  6.  Backside Of Your Eyes (6:17)
  7. All Is Within (4:18)