Greensboro, N.C natives Vanisher have been bringing their melodic hard rock to the scene since 2010 and continue to resurface time and again with tracks that impress. This innovative quintet is impressive because of their commitment to what works. Vanisher’s strength lies in the fantastic foundation they continue to build and improve on. This isn’t a band that seeks to rock the boat, they’re looking to swab the deck- to clean and perfect what’s already there. Where many bands falter in attempts to be too innovative, Vanisher flourishes from the comfort of their signature sound. Mixing heartfelt lyrics with infectious guitar rhythms and bouncing percussion, Vanisher creates anthems meant for movement. Their last EP, Unbound, was an 8-song release that was praised by MetalSucks.net, thus gaining the band the honor of being a MetalSucks “perennial favorite.” This just goes to show that when you’re really great, you can get away with only surfacing once a year with new material.
The band’s latest release Blank Horizon contains some of their staples as well as a newer track by the same name. Once again, Vanisher has come up with a winning sound in their song “Blank Horizon,” boasting the trademark anthemic backing vocals, catchy guitar riffs, and heavy drumbeat that fans have come to adore. Front man Justin Reich sings with conviction “they always said the good die young,” as guitarists Kenan Kerr and Kyle Odell provide the backing “Ohhhh, ohhhh…” all in jumping cataclysm of melody, heavy riffing, and pounding bass that ignites the soul. It is rare that a song makes you want to sway, sing, and head bang all within four minutes and leaves you breathless waiting for more. “Blank Horizon” does all of this and more, setting the pace for the rest of this musical anthology of Vanisher greatest hits.
The next track (a personal favorite) “Seven Years Buried,” is rife with metal power chords accented by high end fast fingered strumming. The lyrics and vocals are smooth and harmonious yet commanding. Reich cries “nothing is what it seems, living in your fantasy,” as they guitars shred furiously, bringing to mind the instrumental styling of As I Lay Dying via “Parallels.” This song is an exemplary demonstration of Vanisher’s fine tuning of the melocore genre with its heavy tones and smooth harmonies. “Seven Years Buried” is one of those soul stirring songs whose melodies and catchy chorus will beautifully haunt you long after it’s ended.
“Blood Red Sky” demonstrates the harder edge of Vanisher with lively guitar power riffing, hammering drums, and the incorporation of segments of screaming vocals. This song carries the undertone/sense of Avenged Sevenfold in the “Bat Country” era. The lyrics are an eclectic mix of the harmony that is their trademark and a more guttural growling/screaming. It rings out with a hard to resist head banging rhythm that evokes movement almost involuntarily. Odell and Kerr are combustible combination on this track, igniting the song with a guitar fury unlike anything heard in the earlier tracks.
The carnage continues with “Martyr to the Flames,” and its thundering bass and drums that carry the song effortlessly. Drummer Scott Shelton is obviously hard at work during this song, pounding ruthlessly and helping lay the backbone of the song alongside bassist Austin Hilton. One of the peaks of this particular song is the incendiary guitar solo by Odell- fast, furious, and heated. Carrying over the staple Vanisher melodies and infectiousness that is the constant undercurrent of this compilation, “Blood Red Sky” brings collection to a head.
“Reaction,” the final track, is an older Vanisher song that perfectly rounds out the collection bringing back the kind of haunting beauty first experienced in “Seven Years Buried.” Like “Morning After” on Sister Sin’s latest release Now and Forever, “Reaction” is exactly the kind of song a CD should end on- a beautiful high note with a sense of longing. The lyrics and melodies throughout are pungent with the emotive tone of the track. Like a hero heading off to battle or a kiss before death, “Reaction” grabs you by the chest and commands you get involved and absorb the music at your core. It feels like the final countdown, the last face off in your favorite movie, the kind of song that feels like “to be continued” and leaves you hoping for a sequel.
Vanisher has had the luxury of being one of the few bands adored by MetalSucks.net and for good reason. These guys are like the prize at the bottom of the cereal box, mysterious and yet highly anticipated. Whether you’ve heard of them or not, at the rate they’re going- you will. Cleaning up and perfecting what other melodic metal bands have muddled up in the past, Vanisher are the up and coming harmonious harbingers- bringing the sound you crave with the chops to match.
You can check out Vanisher on Facebook or their website and their last release Unbound is available for download here. Click on the links throughout this article to check out more about Vanisher or to check out the videos to some of the song. Give them a listen and get in on buzz around these N.C. rockers setting the bar for the next wave of nu-metal!