Vanna – VOID


Artist

Album

VOID

Label

Pure-Noise Records

Year

2014

Genre

For Fans Of

Norma Jean - The Dillinger Escape Plan - The Chariot

Summary

Vanna have changed for the better; they're the crazy yet melodic kind of hardcore bursting at the seams with energy and anger.

Rating

98 / 100

Vanna is fucking dead. 

It’s an apt statement if you were to take a quick glance back at their early catalogue and make a comparison to the band today. After their successful sophomore release of ‘A New Hope’, Vanna set themselves up as one of the many metalcore bands (often referred to back then as the cringe worthy “screamo”) at the time who were tearing up the scene. By today’s standards, they would be labelled as uninspiring and boring with the formulaic structures of breakdowns and clean sung choruses.

Yet the reason Vanna is “dead” is that they are far from what they used to be; so far in fact that any resemblance between the two no longer exists.

That’s right. No more screamo. No more auto tuned choruses and chuggs. Vanna went full-hardcore.

Opening with the eponymous track, ‘VOID’ will force its way into your ear drums and won’t leave till hours after. With an immensely powerful low end that drives the songs along at an alarming rate, songs like ‘Yuth Decay’ and ‘ Personal Cross’ have almost too much energy in them. They throw themselves around your headphones, getting hotter, faster and heavier by the second.

Screamer Davey Muise’s vocals are so strained and rough it’s anything but aesthetically pleasing. Yet for some reason that we’ll probably never know, any other voice wouldn’t work nearly as well. It creates a personality and a face that encapsulates the stressful nature of the style.

Yet Vanna know that in today’s market, not everyone wants to be screamed at every second of the day. That’s where lead guitarist and clean singer, Joel Pastuszak, comes in.

Having a deep vocal resonance, Pastuszak brings about the harmony and melody in this crazy, bouncy hardcore record. He lends his beautiful vocals, often accompanied by some incidental guitar melodies, to the album perfectly to create a stark but almost necessary contrast to keep things lively and fresh.

Lyrically, ‘VOID’ seems to be the diary of a man who no longer has any resemblance of faith or hope. There’s anger and hatred in just about every line spat out here. Swearing is littered throughout the words of Muise, who delivers every line like he’s out of breath and on the verge of going insane. It works fantastically in the context of the record yet this anger is something a lot of bands tend to go for these days. The flipside is that it would be pretty tacky if the group was singing about love and girls.

Fewer bands tend to no longer reference previous lyrics. This is a shame as when done tastefully and in actual reflection or homage to, not blatant rehashing; it resonates with long-time fans and instantly creates a connection. Muise has been smart enough to do this however. On ‘Yuth Decay’ he spits: “Black shoes, black shirts, black hearts everywhere!” much like he does on ‘I Said I’m Fine’ from previous release ‘The Few and Far Between’. As soon as “black shoes” leaves his throat, the song becomes an instant favourite! For those who haven’t listened to the band’s previous work, do it now!
 

Conclusion

‘VOID’ marks the band’s fifth album and although an extension of their fourth LP ‘The Few and Far Between’ in terms of its relentlessly fast and aggressive hardcore soundscape, it serves as an elevation to new heights. It’s stemming with anger and just genuine hatred for pretty much everything. Each song bursts into your eardrums with life and prowess. It’s nothing new in the scheme of things but bloody oath it’s brilliant. Vanna is fucking dead and better than ever!  

Tracklisting

1. VOID
2. Toxic Pretender
3. Holy Hell
4. Digging
5. Yuth Decay
6. Personal Cross
7. Humaphobia
8. Piss Up A Rope
9. Pornocopia
10. All American’t
11. Bienvenue

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