Vanity Draws Blood

I Witness EP

Written by: EL on 12/12/2014 16:41:09

Founded in October 2010, South London metalcore band Vanity Draws Blood released their first EP, “I Witness”, at the beginning of 2014 and have since then been gigging ferociously trying to get their exciting new work out into the ears of unsuspecting music lovers. The six piece band, fronted by both Ryan Stevens and Kerrie Alexander are aiming to play the socks off of 2015 and are in the process of producing their first album.

I heard this bands music for the first time when they recently released their new single, “Fractured” as a music video and it happened to fall onto my newsfeed. Upon hearing the single I was desperate to hear what else they had done, as it was catchy, well produced and prompted me to repeat it immediately. I then came across their EP, “I Witness”, and was blown away by the level of production and musical talent that blew out of my speakers. Similar to bands such as Northlane and Parkway Drive, Vanity Draws Blood have definitely figured out what so many other young bands are missing and that’s fluidity and consistency.

I never once failed to be engaged with the 7 track/30 minute EP.

Beginning with a short instrumental and mournful intro the title track, “I Witness”, slowly builds up with a background beat of the drums with soaring guitars laid over them only to crash straight into the harsh vocals of both Kerrie and Ryan. Catapulted from the mystical musings of “I Witness”, we are thrown into an abyss of high and low harsh vocals, which are occasionally accompanied by drummer Frazer Welsh’s clean vocals, which soar to eye watering heights, in second track, “Purgatory”. Keen to keep the heart rate high the carnage continues with, “Stay Blind”, which starts off quietly but rises up and up until it hits a wave of harsh vocals and which in turn lead to the mother of all breakdowns, which you can’t help but want to throw down to, be it in a queue at the supermarket or at home in your kitchen. Continuing to play with various rhythms and tempo’s, especially with a “jump so much your shins break” section in the middle, you can see the well thought out processes that have gone into this track. It’s obvious that they had their live audience in mind whilst writing this song as it appeals to our very “throw down” natures.

“Eulogy” follows with a sorrowful piano and swooping in of guitars, a heavy bass and determined drumming. Throughout the song we are treated to Frazer’s clean vocals again which are met with sheer high and low screams from Ryan and Kerrie. In “Greed”, Kerrie’s highs are raw and venomous whereas Ryan’s lows are brutally malicious and combined they make a perfect vocal combination and remind me of something as hateful as Chelsea Grin or The Devil Wears Prada. The thundering bass, singing guitars and powerful drumming really add to the breathtaking callousness that this track portrays. “Never forgive, never forget” is repeated over and over again rolling into more sickeningly heavy breakdowns until we are brought to a halt with a guitar solo which leads into the echoing sounds of more harsh vocals.

Suddenly the hatred and the anger ends and we are lifted up into an atmosphere of calm, musical poetry. With no vocals present it’s now time to sit back and marvel at the instrumental sphere we now find ourselves in. If you can imagine floating around in space with the sun rising from the other side of earth and all you can do is watch in awe, that is exactly how I felt when listening to this track. And when the guitar comes in with a resounding sense of purpose I found myself getting quite overcome with emotion. That is some great musical talent.

The final track of the EP, “Mourning Sunset”, starts off slowly and mysteriously; teasing with a slow drumbeat, a forthcoming guitar layer and a slowly rising bass when suddenly Ryan and Kerrie’s vocals are thrown in headfirst and break up the peace. This track completely and utterly embodies the entire EP in one feisty nutshell. It’s bold, it’s angry, it has character and it is a perfect ending to what I can only describe as a nigh perfect EP for such a young band.

With enough breakdowns to end a tyranny, enough instrumental intervals to last a lifetime, you will not be disappointed by this EP should you enjoy this genre of music. I’ve listened to it on repeat for a long time now and I am still getting ready to rip my carpet up with excitement.


Download: Stay Blind, Greed, Departed
For The Fans Of: Northlane, Parkway Drive

Release date 08.03.2014

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