Vanishment - Never Knowing Why

Year of Release: 2001
Label: Fossil Records
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 35:09:00

While not totally awful, Vanishment's Never Knowing Why isn't a very strong release, and Vanishment aren't a great band. Fairly good, yes, and mostly in the instrumentation department. The weakest element is something that plagues many a band - production. The result is that vocalist Dave Ayala sounds rather uninspiring, and it's only compounded by the band's attempts at harmonized vocals. Overall delivery of the music is rather lackluster. Things brighten for a guitar solo or two from Dave DiOrio, but otherwise what results is a very muddy album. Ayala sounds as if he's straining to be heard and part of this is due to very undynamic production, which means you're straining to hear to what the band are up to instrumentally.

Vanishment are a chugging metal band out of Las Vegas, and if you were to take the musical arrangements and ideas alone, you would find a lot of promise. Certainly in the first track "Revealer Of Secrets" and the second to last track (and the best produced track) "The New Jerusalem" do. They've got a lot of the metal band moves down right; a heavy, crunchy feel begins "Fallen Rain" - and with better production the bass work from Corey Sorrenti and drums from Art Saavedra would be brutal. The same could be said about the track that follows, the brief instrumental "Strife." The churning bass and guitars, which made me think of Rush at times, have a lot of drive. And DiOrio is a more than capable guitarist - nice lead work here. But. But, if only the production were better. "Thin Ice" sounds like an anemic version of something from Ozzy Osbourne (no specific track, however), with a throbbing, chopping rhythm. Let's repeat what I've already said, because it should become a mantra - with better production? What's funny is that at about 4:40 into the track, things suddenly clear a bit; not a lot, but there is certainly more clarity. And given that we get some soloing here, it's just as well.

It doesn't bode well when the two demos sound better than the finished tracks - not perfect, mind you. In its demo form, "Revealing?" reminds me of Queensryche, mainly in the way Ayala delivers the vocals. In the finished version, he is going for a little harder edged feel than the more operatic approach of Tate (though he sounds nothing like Tate and isn't all that operatic). But the vocal mix is much better on the demo, even though the instruments seem a little thin and compressed. And you can really hear the keyboards (Ayala). The other demo is "Strife," which seems to have a little more bite here, sounding much better than it's final counterpart, even if it does feel just slightly too loose.

So, in the end it all becomes rather disappointing. The ideas are there and the songs themselves are interesting with some interesting arrangements?but? This is a band that would need a little something more - stronger vocal performance, better production - to rise out of being just a local band. Everyone has to start somewhere, of course, and one can't always start off with a masterpiece, but I just found it all a little lacking.

Revealer Of Secrets (6:15) / Fallen Rain (5:44) / Strife (2:45) / Thin Ice (7:00) / Revealer Of Secrets (demo) (6:02) / The New Jerusalem (5:09) / Strife (demo) (2:54)

Dave DiOrio - guitars, vocals
Dave "Fritz" Ayala - keyboards, lead and backing vocals
Corey Sorrenti - bass
Art Saavedra - drums and vocals

Never Knowing Why (ep) (2001)

Genre: Melodic Metal

Origin US

Added: May 16th 2004
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 906
Language: english


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