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Eighteen Visions Vanity

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Eighteen Visions - Vanity
01. Vanity
02. Fashion Show
03. One Hell Of A Prize Fighter
04. I Dont Mind
05. The Notes Of My Reflection
06. A Short Walk Down A Long Hallway
07. The Critic
08. Gorgeous
09. You Broke Like Glass
10. In The Closet
11. Sonic Death Monkey
12. There Is Always
13. Love In Autumn
Reviewed by: Geoff Harman   //   Published: 9/7/2002
In a perfect world, change would come with acceptance and praise. However, this is not a perfect world; change is not always accepted as easily as it should be, nor is it respected as often as it should be. So when a band makes the decision to change their sound, especially with the close-minded state of hardcore in which we live, it is a bold risk to undertake something that could ultimately make, or unfortunately break them. Eighteen Visions is one of the bands that have taken up this risk and taken every punch in stride, and although their new release may not be what many of us are accustomed, "Vanity" definitely lives up to everything that 18v has built both in themselves, and in the entire scene.

Now although many may say that 18v has "sold out", the fact is that musically, this album rarely strays outside of the lines drawn by "Until the Ink Runs Out" or the previously unrecorded tracks on "The Best of", but there is a definite change. There are the usual chugga-chugga breakdowns, as one would expect from 18v, included with the natural heaviness that we all are used to. Also, there are a few acoustic interludes, and even two acoustic ballads; yes, I said it, BALLADS ("Gorgeous", "Love in Autumn"). This album seems to be much more mature than any previous release by 18v, of course it's been a long road from "Lifeless" to "Vanity." 18v is no longer the dark band they once were. The boys from 18v have grown up, and so has their music.

Vocalist James Hart steps up and shows talent never seen before this record. The once tearing growl that screamed "Death to your King" has now born out a new voice, one that I believe no one could have expected from this band. Don't be lead astray by the idea of a "singing" Eighteen Visions, the same old growl is still there, albeit a little whittled down due to the increased singing parts. Quite simply, sometimes sacrifices must be made in order for change to occur. Truly though, it is not much of a sacrifice; it is actually a very equal and enjoyable blend of both screaming and singing. Hart sings you to heaven on tracks like "Love in Autumn" and still manages to crash you back to hell on tracks like "One Hell of a Prize Fighter" and "Sonic Death Monkey". But James is not the only one making waves with his vocal talents on this record, drummer Ken Floyd also lends his voice to "Gorgeous", yet another unexpected surprise.

Bottom Line: I personally enjoyed "Vanity" very much. Admittedly, at first, I was a little unsure on what I would think of the new 18v, but after one listen I realized that it isn't a "new" 18v, just a much more refined 18v. My only problem with the album is song length; I think that some of the tracks could've been cut a little shorter, especially since the majority of them pass the 5-minute mark. Despite what many may say about it, this is a very good album. Whether you are a fan of earlier Eighteen Visions, or not, "Vanity" is worth a listen for anyone who would rather form their own opinion instead of following the many that have immediately written Eighteen Visions off as sellouts.

Comments
anonymous   posted 5/25/2010 4:40:22 AM
so chalk up that line
united_ninety_three_   posted 3/1/2006 2:15:39 AM
i actually like this album quite a bit, perhaps more than their past releases. even the single "i don't mind" is enjoyable. nice review geoff.