SPACE VACATION – White Hot Reflection (Album Review)

Release Date: April 29th 2022 - Pure Steel Records

SPACE VACATION - White Hot Reflection

Space Vacation is a heavy metal band from the USA formed in 2008, who have released five albums to date – ‘Space Vacation’ (2009), ‘Heart Attack’ (2012), ‘Cosmic Vanguard’ (2014), ‘Lost In The Black Divide’ (2017), and ‘White Hot Reflection’, released in 2022.

With their band name suggesting an amazing out-of-this-world holiday, Space Vacation‘s fifth album is thirteen songs and sixty minutes of amazing out-of-this-world heavy metal! Every song is infectious, head bang-able, and memorable – it has even been stated that “there have been several injuries reported that are related to uncontrolled headbanging upon listening to ‘White Hot Reflection’“. And I for one don’t disagree. From the off, the four-piece band from America glide into their stride with the elegant ‘Reign In Hell’ – replete with a church style organ sounding intro that sets up a cracking atmosphere for the band to explode into life proper with the heavy-hitting yet highly melodic ‘Reign In Hell’. The infectious nature is magnetic, pulling everyone in and never letting go. Take note, my friends, you’ll wanna stop whatever it is you’re doing, and pay attention – ’cause I reckon this is gonna be a fantastic listen!

And so far – I’m right! ‘Playing With Fire’ lifts the energy and intensity levels much higher than the opening song. And the magnetic pull too! Space Vacation – with just the opening two songs have set their stall out to deliver infectious, catchy, and head nod-able heavy metal that is fairly easy on the ears, but heavy on the attractability. ‘White Hot Reflection’ may just barge its way to the forefront of the pack chasing the title of Album Of The Year. And yes, after only two songs  – I do get that feeling. The sound of fast-paced “foot on the monitor” heavy metal fills the air in the immense shape of ‘Transcending’ – a fiery furor of traditional heavy metal, highly infectious and very mosh pit friendly. Heads will be banging hard to this one! And you know that feeling you get, when something you’ve done, made, or cooked comes out perfectly! That’s exactly the same feeling you’re gonna have when listening to this album.

Introducing a little of the famous NWOBHM gallop, ‘Iceberg’ is a mid-tempo, err, gallop of power-driven heavy metal – think the majesty of Judas Priest and the finesse of Iron Maiden blended with the root sound of Space Vacation! What a combo! The band delivering drool-inducing metal of the very wettest kind – metal heads legs going weak at the knees and blood pumping forcibly to areas of great excitement! What a heart-racing start to the album! A terrific start, in fact, that shows absolutely no sign of dissipating, as ‘Walk Away’ lifts the intensity even higher, adopting a more muscular and pulsating style of heavy metal than has been heard so far. Space Vacation visits every corner, nook, and cranny of the heavy metal genre to deliver a myriad of metal styles. And rock ones too – for ‘Being Evil’ is a terrific hard rock-inspired tune. The pumping rhythm is the stuff of eighties American hard rock giants – you know who I’m talking about! The oomph is top shelf, the infectious level higher than ever, with the energy oozing from ‘Being Evil’ more than enough to power towns and cities for years to come.

Well, what can I say about ‘Middle Ages’? Super, smashing, great – and bloody fantastic! The song’s quirkiness reminds me of the legendary British band Queen during their pomp in the eighties. And the lyrics are the stuff of genius too! Just where the songwriting crew came up with the ideas for some of the lyrics is beyond me… “pay the bills, take my pills, and my head fucking kills” and “middle age is being tired, out of breath, middle-age is halfway to your death” although this variation I like better “middle age is lots of anger, lots of strife, middle-age is halfway through your life”. Enough said – and definitely the centerpiece of the album. Right, back to blistering heavy metal with ‘Burn With Me’ – fast-paced, power-driven, and infectious to the max. The band showed their prowess once more, at delivering fast and furious old school foot on the monitor heavy metal. And with a big bang too! The impact ‘Burn With Me’ is gonna make on the worldwide metal scene will be phenomenal.

And for the first time, ‘White Hot Reflection’ slows right down, entering power ballad territory for ‘Don’t Say It’ – or are we! Maybe just for the first forty seconds or so, and then boom, boom, boom, we’re off and hitting harder than ever! The punch and crunch of ‘Don’t Say It’ is like being smacked around the head with a baseball bat – I’d imagine (as I’ve never been smacked around the head with a baseball bat). Oh, the sound of infectious melodic heavy metal rises high into the sky with the cracking ‘Win The Night’ – and the most sing a long-able chorus heard so far. The pace and power of ‘Win The Night’ are simply perfect – and should Space Vacation perform this one life, I’m sure they’re gonna win the night, and win a lot of new fans too! ‘Sleep Tight’ is a two-minute, highly entertaining guitar-led instrumental…

…leading into the most emotional song on the album – ‘When Heroes Die’. Sadly, death is a fact of life, but when our idols, those people we looked up to and took inspiration from, pass away, it is a very sad time. Whether it’s our family, friends, or “heroes” – we will never forget the impact they had on our lives. And in the case of Space Vacation – Eddie Van Halen, Lemmy, and Neil Peart all get a mention in ‘When Heroes Die’ – and I’m sure many more coulda got mentioned too. What a great song, and well played by the band. The final song on the album ‘Out Of Time’, clocks in at over seven minutes in length, and is by far and away from the longest song on offer! Blending an epic atmosphere with a hymn-like feel, the first thirty seconds is anticipation laden to the max! And then bang! We’re off and running at full tilt, the sound of traditional heavy metal as attractive as it has always been. Space Vacation delivers one final hurrah of the feisty fast-paced foot on the monitor metal to headbang along to and raise your fists high in the air. What an ending, what an album, what a band!

Overall, a superb hour of infectious heavy metal, highly energetic, overly catchy, and one of the must-have metal albums of the year.

TRACKLIST

Reign In Hell
Playing With Fire
Transcending
Iceberg
Walk Away
Being Evil
Middle Ages
Don’t Say It
Sleep Tight
When Heroes Die
Out Of Time

Space Vacation: Facebook

Release Year: 2022
Label: Pure Steel Records
Category: Album
Country: USA

Reviewed by Iron Mathew for Frenzy Fire, and Metal-Roos.