I’ve seen Verge of Submission perform on several occasions. I am always impressed by their energy and ability to connect with their audience, so when the their album, A New Beginning, recently showed up in my mailbox I was curious to hear how their music would translate to the sterile environment of a compact disc.

VOS jump out of the gates in high gear with the pummeling drums and punchy riffs of “Forget to Live.” In case you weren’t sure what kind of album this was going to be, a second loud welcoming from “Never” and third from “The Voice” will leave no doubt in your mind. All three songs combine huge hooks with monster riffs from guitarists Peter Dragnev and Mike Marting, along with a breakneck beat from drummer Darrell Robinson. Just when you are in dire need of a breather, VOS give you a moment with the ethereal introduction of “Within My Head (Part I)” before launching into another monster wall of sound. Literally before you know it, you are already seven songs deep into A New Beginning and feeling like you just went 12 rounds with a young Mike Tyson.

On first listen, most of A New Beginning conjures up the images of Sevendust, as singer Greg Quandt’s voice sounds eerily similar to Sevendust’s Lajon Witherspoon and the band tends to gravitate toward the type of chugging riffs that have become a Sevendust signature. But VOS are more than that. Quandt seems to possess a rare voice capable of intertwining melodic singing with sheer, guttaral screaming, and the band shows influences ranging from NWOBHM to nu-metal to metal core, along with a brief deluge into Spanish guitar during the intro to “Can’t Run Away.”

With 14 songs and over 73 minutes worth of music, A New Beginning is an ambitious undertaking for a young band like Verge of Submission, but the results are good. They show that they have the versatility to write straight-ahead traditional rock songs, angry metal songs and even an occasional acoustic ballad. Their ability to blend harmony, melody and 10-ton riffs is a talent that many more seasoned bands fail to execute well.

A dynamic roller coaster of an album, A New Beginning from Verge of Submission is one of the best rock/metal albums I’ve heard from an area band in quite some time. It is highly recommended.