Album Review: All Hell – Vanna

Boston post-hardcore band VANNA are back in action with their sixth studio album, All Hell. The five-piece claims the album is everything they have been through and the strength they have gained through surviving it. Also that this album is ‘the sound when All Hell comes crashing down’, can they really deliver such a magnitude of aspects to life through the album and live up to their expectations in one?

Opening up All Hell is Paranoia Euphoria and instantly you are thrown right in with the harsh vocals from Davey Muise. Without a doubt, from that one moment it will become transparent that the latest album from the Boston outfit will be angrier than ever. Paranoia Euphoria explores anthemic traits and lays out everything on the table for what is to be expected from All Hell.

Pretty Grim and Circle the Flame display the exact things that was expected from the album when Paranoia Euphoria opened up. What is delivered is definite anger and attitude with lyrics such as ‘everything and everyone you love is going to burn in the end’. Whilst they might appear to be generic for the style of the band on paper, it is pieced together with every ounce of emotion.

Flower is possibly the most heart-felt track on All Hell. The sincerity that Davey Muise pours out is second to none, especially as the chorus is belted out. The chorus is definitely anthemic and not as fierce as the previous tracks on the album, but it is just as gut-wrenching but in a completely different way. It’s not gut-wrenching through anger, but the amount of emotion through sheer love through the lyrical content is incredible. Even as the track flows into an acoustic version towards the end, VANNA have really created an unforgettable track to add into their career.

Leather Feather and Wounded Young immediately revert back into angst, yet it isn’t just lyrically where VANNA have been able to really set the mood. Musically, the band have managed to get it on point, throughout Wounded Young there are faint sounds of what appears to be school children playing. Something so little set up for a lot of meaning with a track that can relate to so many of its listeners.

Nearer the end of the album, the sentiment for what the All Hell was meant to be about sort of dwindles into the distance. It doesn’t mean to say that there isn’t any there, but it just feels a little less prominent than at the beginning. Even with Candle Limbs being so straight to be point lyrically and relatable, it just feels as though by this point, VANNA fell into a slight comfortability with the flow of the album.

Mutter as the penultimate track really sets the scene and mood for closing track Lead Balloon. Whilst it’s certainly angry, it leads into Lead Balloon excellently. The closing track isn’t as heavy as Mutter, but the emotional pull from the track really flows into this ending. It’s almost as though you had the ability to transition through stages of these emotions alongside the band.

What one of the most notable strong pieces about All Hell is the fact the album kicked in with sheer fury, but it closed rather gently with just the sound of guitars echoing out. It felt as though VANNA had took you on a journey with each song and whilst not all were entirely strong, they had relatability and to keep that is a skill of its own.

The Boston five-piece really opened up their wounds with All Hell and the expectations they gave had the majority of boxes ticked. VANNA are still definitely on the road to crafting albums that ooze with consistency and strength but this one certainly shows they are heading in the right direction.

Rating: 8/10


All Hell is set for release on July 8 via Pure Noise Records.

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Jessica Howkins

21, Co Editor-in-Chief for Distorted Sound Magazine, Music Journalism student.

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