Most people know Vertical Horizon for their smash hits "Everything You Want" and "You´re A God", but those that think Vertical Horizon is a run of the mill Pop Rock band are hugely mistaken. The band´s last release, "Go", was originally released in 2003, followed by a re-release shortly after. Unfortunately, the album still fell just under the radar, but now the band is finally back with a new album.Although a rough demo version of Burning The Days "leaked" many months ago, the final production/harmonies/arrangements plus 3 new songs are plenty enough reason to revisit. First off, it should be noted that there are 2 guest performers/writers on the album - Richard Marx (who plays piano on the track "Here") and legendary drummer from Rush, Neil Peart. "All Is Said & Done" opens the album with the perfect tone, with unique loop effect guitar hook, shortly followed by crunching guitars with a great chorus. The next 4 songs are some of the best moments on the album, starting off with "Lucky One", an optimistic love song with a GREAT hook. Definitely a potential single. "The Middle Ground" is up next, and is one of the new songs NOT heard on the demo leak, and let me tell you, this song deserves to be heard. If there is one song on the album that deserves to be a single, it´s this one. "I Believe In You" has an incredible build from beginning to end, with a simple yet beautiful chorus. "Save Me From Myself" is the first single, and although i don´t think it will be a smash hit, it is a GREAT rock song and deserves recognition on the rock charts. Track 6, "Carrying On", even after numerous listens from the demos, is still probably my favorite track off of the CD. I´d love to see this song do well as a follow 3rd single. "Welcome To The Bottom",the second to last track, is easily the hardest song on the album with a great build. Scannell´s excellence as a guitarist and musician is the highlight of the end of the track, with a blistering guitar solo. More people need to see this band live because not enough people give Scannell (or the band for that matter) the credit he/they deserve. "Even Now" closes the album and is co-written by Neil Peart. Definitely the perfect choice for the last track, and one of my favorites as well.
Burning The Days is definitely an incredibly solid album, particularly showcasing Matt Scannell´s continuing growth as songwriting. Although Keith Kane, the band´s other singer, doesn´t have any songs where he sings lead, his harmonies are an essential part of what makes Vertical Horizon such a great band. This album may be overlooked and under appreciated by some critics, but it is the fans who will truly appreciate this gem of a comeback album.