Album Review: Vanna – All Hell

Pre-established musicians ultimately deal with the back and forth struggle of evolving and progressing or essentially running in place and sticking to an established routine. Boston hardcore outfit Vanna have been on both ends of this struggle throughout their career, starting out with a sound that is quite different than their current incarnation. While this is obviously attributable to the genres own change in trends, it’s also impacted by what seemingly feels as constant lineup changes as the band is now left with only two of its original founding members. The band’s last release, VOID, saw them take on grittier and harsher elements presenting a style of southern thrash metal more reminiscent of bands like Every Time I Die and Norma Jean which lead to moderately favorable reviews. Fast forward to the here and now and the quintet is about to release their sixth full-length, All Hell. With an incredible amount of excitement surrounding the record, does it live up to the band’s pedigree?

[tw-toggle title=”About Vanna”]
Genre: Post Hardcore
Release: July 8, 2016
Label: Pure Noise Records
Purchase: iTunes | Google Play
Connect: Facebook | Twitter

Opening up the album is “Paranoia Euphoria” and listeners are hit right away with the familiar thrashing harsh vocals of Davey Muise as he declares “All I do is drag my bones in hopes of finding a home // everyones so dead and cold I wasn’t meant for the world”. A brief moment of building instrumentals follows up this declaration before the track explodes into full force as the track blasts into listeners’ speakers. Utilizing a strong approach in lyricism and sound as the opening to the record, it lays the groundwork for what listeners are presented with throughout the songs that make up the entirety of All Hell as the band covers such disparaging topics of decay, misery and death.

Vanna “Paranoia Euphoria”

CD/Vinyl/Merch: iTunes: Listen on Spotify: Facebook: Twitter: Paranoia Euphoria Lyrics all i do is drag my bones in hopes of finding a home Everyones so dead and cold I wasn’t meant for the world All you people are a deadly disease That lie and cheat

The band drives home the aforementioned themes further through the use of heavy breakdowns (“Circle The Flame” or “Mutter”) while being contrasted by the elevated clean vocals of Joel Pastuszak which give the music a melodic influence that suits Vanna’s signature style perfectly. This melodic nature shines brightest on the heartfelt, yet despair driven “Flower” where the chorus “you saw me searching I was lost in a world all alone and out of time” will be belting from fans for years to come. This helps the overall package feel catchy and surprisingly varied, however, it still feels as if the record is over almost as soon as it starts. What attributes to this will surely vary for each listener, but it feels as if the vocal style Davey Muise is known for distracts from the overall musicality found on All Hell, especially during the records first half. Fortunately, Vanna know how to craft a solid record and have perfected the art of balancing signing with screaming, so fans of both will get incredible value in this regard.

Ultimately what the record presents is a letter to anyone willing to listen that Vanna has looked inside themselves and put it all out there – letting everyone know they’re completely OK with what has transpired throughout their lives. It’s not only about the brooding darkness and personal demons, it’s about acceptance and what fans can take away from it. While the record will (and already has) shown to be a tad bit divisive in regards to overall sound and progression the band has taken, it truly does live up to the excitement that surrounded it with a more solid direction and focus. The journey that lies between the opening scream and the final plucking of the guitar string is what really matters, and with that in mind, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better output within the career of these Boston natives.


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