(Pure Noise Records)
Personally, I’ve been a fan of Vanna since their very first EP, The Search Party Never Came, back on Epitaph in 2006. In the band’s earlier releases, they played metal that was dipped in atmospheric grime. But in recent years (pretty much since their lead vocalist switch back on The Honest Hearts EP – 2010), Vanna has been experimenting more with their sound. Gradually, they’ve introduced more hardcore and punk elements to the mix (And They Came Baring Bones and The Few and Far Between were both excellent records thanks to these changes), and eventually evolved into the thrash-style group they are today. If they had joined Pure Noise back in the days of Curses, it would have been really odd, but now the band fit right in with Jacob Round’s crew. Void is pure adrenaline, constantly pumping and bleeding during the course of its eleven crazed tracks. Right from the start of its opening/title track, the album passionately spits, “Holes, inside my broken bones / Decay, I watch my flesh rip away / Space, between the deadened eye / Goodbye, farewell to my body and my soul,” laying out the fragile and collapsing framework of the album. From there, Void only continues to surprise and energize. “Toxic Pretender,” “Holy Hell,” and “Personal Cross” are all furious favorites, embedding into your memory for days to come. Then you have the more unique and expansive tracks, “Digging,” “Humphobia,” and “Bienvenue” (which should have actually been the closing track instead of “All American’t”) which rock just as much, but are structured quite differently to boost the atmosphere and despair.
Vanna has gone from good, to great, to goddamn amazing. Void is just a phenomenal record that can be played over and over without tire. This one is going to be a summer favorite for sure. (Nathaniel Lay)