The Artwork That Should Not Be #1: “Vanity” by Eighteen Visions
They say that the first bite is with the eye. So for anyone who isn’t already a fan of a band to pick up an album, the cover art needs to be enticing. Some might think that in a digital age this is less important, but plenty of Metal fans still turn away at the sight of an unappealing album cover on the likes of Spotify or Apple Music. After all, a friend recommends a band to you, you search the name and several artists come up – if the cover art isn’t suitable, how do you, the unsuspecting Metal fan, know that the album is what you’re looking for, if you haven’t heard it before? So in this new feature, we’ll be checking out “The Artwork That Should Not Be” and asking that age old question “What the hell were you thinking?!”.
“Vanity” by Eighteen Visions
Take a good look. You’ve got a woman in her bra or bikini in two shades of pink, something that looks vaguely like a musical note and text in blue and white. The last Eighteen Visions album to feature guitarist Brandan Schieppati, who went on to become the vocalist of Bleeding Through, “Vanity” features some of the least Metal artwork around. Released in 2002 and re-issued 3 years later in 2005, it’s an album adored by fans and the last to feature film speech samples until 2017’s “XIII” due to the pair of albums in between being picked up by Sony. Featuring James Hart’s cut glass vocals and breakdown after breakdown of guitar attack, it’s a heavy affair not for the faint hearted that crosses the boundaries between Noise Metal and Post-Hardcore. Single “You Broke Like Glass” is a prime example of the sound that goes against the grain of the Artwork – and maybe that’s the point. “I Don’t Mind” and the album title track “Vanity” both got 200 highly limited edition pink 7″ pink vinyl pressings while the album itself got 1000 copies. For us, the album rates highly in the bands discography, a solid 8/10 release matched only by 2017’s return album and sandwiched between it by “Motioness And White”, their “Best Of” release. John Lacroix takes the artwork credit.