For a second there, I was scared. The first few seconds of the
first track contain enough double-bass drum to choke a cow. Just
as I was thinking "Oh crap, not another death metal one-dimensional
band", it changes. Really while there are smatterings of
death metal, the genre Vanna definitively belongs in the
emo-core area with a well-balanced approach to heavy highs and
almost balladic lows.
Balance, that's a perfect description for this band. Amazingly
they pull off so many different eclectic styles that they almost
appear to be subtle nods to genres and feels, while maintaining
a strictly unique wholeness. With the aforementioned double-bass
you have the morbid growls reminiscent of Sepultura. With
the easy lows you have the emotion that Dashboard Confessional
fans yearn for. For the old-school metal fans you have the choir
chants in the background of "I Am The Wind, You Are The Feather"
that verge on epic, making me think of Queensryche. And
finally you have that nod to traditional hardcore anthems with
the group yelling in "Schadenfreude". Nice.
Normally, a lot of these aspects are just cheesy, but somehow
Vanna just makes them work. They never take any single facet beyond
the extremes into over-used territory - like with the initial
drum sequence that comes to a point where it might lose effectiveness,
but then it alters completely, leaving a wistful aftertaste. This
works brilliantly in most cases, but in the case of some guitar
lines, I was left wanting more - like in the break-out section
of the already mentioned "Schadenfreude". But maybe
wanting more is better than the opposite. Production aptly fuses
these elements, bringing that ultimate coherence to the whole
and that is easier said than done, so bravo.
While not mind-blowingly breaking into new territory, Vanna accurately
uses older systems to create a solid amalgamation. And while everyone
may not like all of the parts, there are enough pieces to keep
everyone interested throughout. Worth the listen.
1) A Dead Language For A Dying Lady
2) That Champagne Feeling
3) I Am The Wind, You Are The Feather
5) The Search Party Never Came
6) She's A Real Battleaxe
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