Review: “Self Titled” by Vanitas

Birmingham quintet Vanitas maybe a new band but they are no strangers to the World of Metal, comprising former members of previousĀ  Verb The Noun and Aramantus. What is new however is the sound that they are creating, taking inspiration from vast-spanning JRPG soundtracks and the raw energy of modern metal riffs combining them to form something they’ve coined as epic Cinematic Djent. That’s a term we didn’t think we’d hear in our lifetime and had us do a double take. The band promises a rollercoaster of emotions tackling the trials and tribulations of adulthood for the new generation wrapped in that soundscape and all crammed in to just over twenty minutes…

So what does Cinematic DJent actually sound like? Well what Vanitas have created sounds like driven and direct Progressive Metal with some incredible musicanship. Opening cutĀ  “Ghostly Coast” an epic seven minute affair embellished with orchestral programming from Matt Jones that simply makes it sound huge. The clean vocals from Jade Marissa Grundy are stunningly beautiful and give the heavier elements a nice melodic grounding but don’t be fooled into thinking this was a fellowship of mellowship. Instead the riffs flow with consumate ease and while there are thunderous drum patterns that include blast beat passages and that’s before we talk about the dirty breakdown and unclean vocal part in the centre of “Breaking Illusions” that will catch more than a few off guard. Grundy clearly has a fragility to her and that seeps out in the emotive nature of her lyric which have a cathartic quality to them. If they has been accompanied by a Nu-Metal soundtrack then they may have been lost in the rising tide but here they soar thanks to the revitalising qualities of the music, “Carry On” being particularly vibrant and having a sumptuous solo of mesmerising quality. While the DJent may not have been as present on the opening cut, it forms the backbone of the remaining material and the Tech-Metal moments of the title track of the bands debut EP from which they take their name give it a wonderful zest. This is music with depth, texture and meaning that cries out to be heard, a more polished and refined debut you may struggle to find, such is the quality of this offering from a collection of musicians who have executed their vision to perfection [8.5/10]

Track Listing

  1. Ghostly Coast
  2. Breaking Illusions
  3. Carry On
  4. Vanitas

Self Titled” by Vanitas is out now and available over at bandcamp

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