Recorded back in 2002—2003 and originally released by Superhero Records in 2004 as the "Wake" CD (for which you can read my more detailed archived review here), "Never" is the recently issued Frequency Deleted Records re-release of the debut full-length from the ever-intriguing and unpredictable Vegas. Bookended by dark ambient experimental noise pieces (the latter of which was supplied by Never Presence Forever), the bulk of the album's 14 tracks in just 38 minutes are based around Integrity's "holy terror" brand of metallic hardcore, complete with short, intense bursts of raging shouts/screams and explosive solos—while darker and more adventurous experimentation comes by way of a few Death in June-esque "apocalyptic folk" compositions (which are quite fucking well done, I might add)—not unlike vocalist T's later excursions with the Roses Never Fade project. I can't help but feel like the raw and somewhat inconsistent recording quality still hinders some of the band's true potential, but even still, 4+ years after the fact the power of their vision still stands.
The re-release supplies similar though subtly improved artwork, though the complete and total lack of any text within the booklet is somewhat of an odd choice given the group's curious lyrical content and the various combinations of musical contributors throughout (among them appearances by Dwid and former Pale Creation guitarist Matt Shack). The tracklist on the back cover is also almost entirely wrong, correctly identifying a mere four of the 14 songs (the actual sequencing is the same as that of the 2004 "Wake" release)—granted, when it comes to Vegas, that could've been some sort of inexplicably intentional act of obscurity!? Also included as a new bonus is a cryptic black and white video for an alternate version of "Becoming the Night", from the recently issued split 7" with Moutheater, which is a nice touch. So, minor little issues aside, for the many who likely missed this album in its original incarnation, this is indeed worth investigating. And here's to hoping that more long overdue new material from Vegas will see the light sooner rather than later!
In this stillness I wear a careless glance, destiny unfolded, no words could explain, when the caring's gone, purpose stands sour, echo of silence has exceeded its powers, delirium's realm, through ignorance and error, destroying the balance, no savior for my sakes, deprived of the duality, entertained with solitude, severed from all reason, until the very end of me.