If there is one thing to describe Perspective // Empathy from British metallers Vanity, it is that it is riveting. There are plenty more striking attributes to the five track metalcore tempest, craft and imagination among them, but it offers a fascination which upon personal tastes few similar genre propositions have come close to.
Formed in 2012 and formerly known as Vanity Draws Blood, Vanity has climbed up the UK metal scene with increasing brutality and invention accompanied by an equally ascending amount of acclaim which began simmering with their debut EP, I Witness, released in 2014. From its success, the London sextet began working on a series of works under the title of Perspective. The first in Perspective // Dread appeared to rich praise last year, the single Anxiety which featured CJ McMahon of Thy Art Is Murder leading the way. It is easy to expect that Perspective // Empathy is destined to make an even bigger impact; its body alone establishing Vanity as one of Britain’s most promising and imaginative confrontations.
The EP opens up with the atmospheric enticing of Empathy, the instrumental piece a haunting yet inviting lure with drama and portentous suggestion in its air and elegance in its character before slipping into the waiting jaws of Tranquil. Featuring the warm tones of Lilly Macieira, the track explodes on ears, guitars winding venomously around them as rhythms pounce to spear the senses. To the aggression though, there is an instinctive catchiness which fuels grooves and the overall surge of the song, an infectiousness which even infests the uncompromising assault of raw throated, emotionally open vocals. Alongside an inventive unpredictability and imagination festers and boils over, the subsequent duel vocal attack of varying discontent and subsequent melodic temptation lying at the heart of the track’s captivating evolution. Add Macieira’s almost angelic presence and it is a song which enthrals.
Sorrow swiftly follows, it too emerging from a suggestive harmonic calm with ferocious intent and wind but equally with that wealth of undisguised enterprise and imagination. Stabbing beats and bone shaking riffs devour as melodies and vocal dexterity blossom, every second a fresh adventure but united in the flowing and certainly uncompromising yet inviting storm. As all tracks, with every listen a new depth and side to elements within the song emerge and though it is fair to say that just on the initial engagement the EP and its contents stir the appetite real fascination grows with every submission to the fire.
Again Macieira features on the EP’s fourth track, opening Extrovert with her harmonic caress as melodies cradle her presence. In time the mellow temptation becomes the bed for emotive and physical turbulence where vocals and guitars are almost in conflict within their intensive unity, a fight which ignites the ire and creative dexterity skilfully consuming ears. Clean vocals in turn rise from within that fire, just part of the imaginative depth and adventure persuading ears and pleasure.
Final track Affinity is more of the same but individual in its tapestry of sound and imagination, contrasts and extremes coming together in a kaleidoscope of sound and emotion just gripping attention. It is a magnetic close to an encounter which dares you to look away even for a second and miss something memorable, a challenge impossible to take on.
We would say Perspective // Empathy needs time to truly blossom in ears though as mentioned earlier it undoubtedly pleasures from its first breath; in return though the rewards increase and impress. The final line of the press release for the EP suggests that the sextet of Kerrie Alexander, Ryan Stevens, Elliot Plummer, Charles Jones, and Luke Jervis is one “of the most exciting and original bands at the vanguard of the UK scene.” There is nothing within the new EP to suggest otherwise.
Perspective // Empathy is available now on iTunes.
Pete RingMaster 26/09/2017
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