Monday, June 16, 2014

Album Review: 'VOID' by Vanna

>> As the weather begins to get warmer, more and more summer tours start their journey. One of the most iconic and sought out of these tours for bands is obviously the Vans Warped Tour. Ideally, a band would love to be apart of the full Warped Tour run (this year's tour runs June 13th- August 3rd), but this could be a daunting task. Having a well rounded and angst-filled album to share with the mostly teenage crowd can only help with this endeavor. Luckily for Boston outfit Vanna, they have such an album.

>> VOID, which will be released via Pure Noise Records on June 17th, provides an 11 song emotional roller coaster ride for its listeners, in which they will feel rage and revulsion, as well as melancholy and hopefulness. The opening track off of VOID, which happens to be the title track, rips into the listener's ears with lead vocalist Davey Muise's gritty words about becoming a "black hole." This could signify that he is at a dark place in his life. When he yells "with the lights out, it's dangerous. Here you go, chanting entertain us," Muise hints that his career as a performer on stage has become a void, or black hole, in his life. He may feel that people want more and more from him, and that being a performer could be doing more harm than good for him.

>> "VOID" (the song) is an excellent example of Vanna's heavy side, but there is a softer, emotional side to the band as well. This shows up on VOID in several songs, one which is "Digging." Vanna felt that this song was so emotionally driven that it would perfect candidate for the first music video off of VOID. The song starts out with a soft vocal harmony, which then kicks into a post-hardcore riff with clean vocals from guitarist, Joel Pastuszak. Muise then takes the reigns and screams over the melodic ballad. Lyrically, this song touches on depression and not knowing who you are as a person. A metaphor of a rock sinking to the bottom of the sea is used to illustrate this lowness that Muise and Pastuszak are singing about. They both relate to their listeners who may be going through the same lowness, and tell them not to dig themselves into their depressed place. Muise goes on  with words of encouragement, telling the listener not to write the ending to their own 'book'. You can watch the video for "Digging" below.

>> "Holy Hell", the first single off of VOID, is another thrasher that could cause the calmest of fans to throw down. This song is an anthem for every outcast who feels that they are oppressed by the majority of society. Muise screams to the listener that they are actually the majority and that they "own this town". You can check out the song below.

>> There are several other songs on this album worth mentioning, including "Piss Up A Rope." This was the second single off of VOID, and it's a classic headbanging hardcore jam that will please any pit. "Pornocopia" is another song you should check out. If you couldn't tell from the title, this song is about pornography and Muise's personal view on it. He goes on to scream about how porn would make him feel, calling it a "wet nightmare" that digs into his brain. He now views porn almost as virtual prostitution, where the girl is no more than an object. He also goes on to say how disgusting it made him feel. The track definitely shines a light on pornography in general.

>>The final track "Bienvenue" is another great example of the diversity you will find on this album. It is a much slower and longer song, clocking in at 5 minutes and 3 seconds. Pastuszak cleanly sings in metaphors about not waiting for rivers to flood and mountains to fall to make changes in your life. There is also an intense spoken word/rap verse that encompasses the song and the overall message of VOID.

>> VOID is by far Vanna's best work to date. It touches on a wide range of emotions with the use of harsh vocals, fast-passed guitars, melodic chords, and much more. If you want something different from today's overproduced metalcore/post-hardcore bands, then check out VOID immediately. You can find it on iTunes or over at their merch store. If you like what you hear, make sure to check them out on the Monster Stage during the 2014 Vans Warped Tour!

 - Zach Zima

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