For Fans Of
Vanity‘s first full-length album, ‘The Cast Shade’, is filled with good ideas and a lot of potential. What the band does musically they do well, and while it isn’t ground-breaking it will probably garner some attention.
Instrumentally, Vanity provide a heavy, metallic style of hardcore. The overall mix is un-refined, which makes for a messier, garage-esque sound that works brilliantly for the band. The musical ideas presented on the record are appropriate without getting too technical.
Vanity doesn’t overreach in terms of what they think they can pull off, instead playing simple yet effective riffs and passages, playing them well. You’ll also find an array of moods portrayed on ‘The Cast Shade‘, from dark, haunting melodies to aggressive, chugging riffs. Overall it’s very musically sound.
The group’s downfall however, lies in the vocals. Their shrieking banshee of a singer could do a lot worse than to work on his technique, particularly when it comes to his annunciation. You’ll find yourself struggling to make sense of anything that comes screeching from his mouth, and probably think "this must be how every hardcore band sounds to my Mum" more than once.
Obviously and granted, the harsh vocal style is a staple of the genre, but this vocalist could literally just be shouting random syllables and no one would be able to tell the difference. With the addition of some control and variety into the mix it might be possible to really appreciate the lyrics, which are actually pretty strong. It just makes it all the more disappointing that they can’t be understood by the human ear.
Vanity’s ‘The Cast Shade’ is a solid debut LP, showing a lot of potential for the band to grow. Successful in the instrumentation department, it can be both hard-hitting and at times sombre and meaningful. However, it’s greatly held back by unintelligble vocals. This is a debut to be proud of, but there’s room for improvement.
1. Lonesome Paradise
2. The Way We’ll Expect It To Be
3. Déjà Adieux
5. Dead Exit
6. Vice Life
7. Out of the Everyday
9. At the Brink
10. Reduced to Prey
13. No Redemption