Track Review: “Lies” by Vanitas

The continuing waterfall release of singles from Cinematic DJent pioneers Vanitas over the past twelve months has seen the Birmingham based quintet push their borders and boundaries in all directions. From the melodic Progressive Metal leanings of the epic romance of “Between Lune and Eden” to the newly found harsh unclean vocals of “Grey Morality“, they’ve offered tunes to help us breathe more easily that are refreshing, inventive and playful over the course of those five songs, each one building on the solid foundations of their self titled debut EP from 2022. In that time they’ve also gained a reputation of their live performances, sharing stages with Monuments, Galactic Empire and Destrage to name but a few and at the current rate of ascension, it shouldn’t be long before they start taking on Europe. Once again mixed and mastered by Matt Jones (Fury, Ironside, Dakesis) at CapsArx Studios, who also handled the orchestral programming, their latest burnt offering “Lies” is accompanied by another suitably fitting music video courtesy of Dark North Media (Trendkill)…

It feels strange and almost surreal to think that 21 years after Tairrie B from much loved American Alternative act My Ruin poured scorn on the music industry with the brutally honest single “Made to Measure” that we should be discussing women having negative experiences in doing what they love. But as Robb Flynn once wrote for Machine Head, the more things change, the more they stay the same and in the wake of Greta Gerwig’s Barbie movie, Vanitas inking a track that expresses anger at the patriarchy seems disturbingly appropriate. After all, this writer has lost count at the amount of times he’s championed a so called female fronted band only to be ridiculed by narrow minded individuals who say a woman can’t scream like a man can. Oh yes they can. Let’s place before the court Exhibit A: Vanitas vocalist Jade Maris.

Technical staccato riffs from Mitchell Barlow and Elijah Storer are accompanied by cinematic orchestration as Vanitas break into their stride sonically, “Lies” having a spellbinding cinematic air to it that is nothing short of captivating. What makes the track however is the gut punch of underlying aggression that surfaces in between the passages of gloriously angelic clean vocals from Jade Maris. Her anthemic chorus is an arena sized sing-a-long delivered with gusto and conviction that has an intense energy and weight of feeling about it. Well paced at the tempo of the damned, the track has a dark energy coursing through its veins, fuelled by the emotive lyrical narrative and providing the look over your shoulder sense that something wicked this way comes. 139 seconds in, as the final third begins, a nasty, DJent fuelled heavy breakdown rears its ugly head as Maris bursts into flames, switching from soaring serenade to savage banshee roar for a verse that demonstrates just how far the band have come in two years together. It’s the kind of nightmarish hard hitting moment that gives the tune a real cutting edge before Jackson Cann thunders in with blast beats after one final chorus to bring the tune to an epic conclusion. We’re in an era of equality where everyone should be respected and this feminine rage anthem might just be the wake up call that some people need to hear. If you haven’t heard anything by Vanitas yet then we urge you not to sleep on them because they have talent in abundance and this is just the start of their epic journey [9/10]

Lies” by Vanitas is out now and available over at bandcamp.

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