Vanish - Separated from today 3.5/5

Reviewed: 6-27-08





Tracklist:

1. Forsaken
2. Mankind's flaw
3. Blind reflection
4. To the stars
5. Sign my name
6. All of it gone
7. Secrets
8. Before the times
9. Coming home
10. Revolution


Vanish is a heavy/power metal band from Germany, and their self-produced and self-released debut 'Separated from today' was released in 2006. These days, while some debuts immediately impress and excite me, this debut is one that gradually grew on me and it definitely took some time to sink in. The biggest reason for this is that the songwriting is both interesting and varied (far from generic), though I wouldn't call this an extremely complex CD either. Actually, it's a bit hard to describe and I couldn't come up with any direct band comparisons, but know that musically, this sits somewhere between power metal and basic heavy metal, though probably leans towards power metal.

Vanish is fronted by the exceptional Bastian Rose, and oh how this guy's vocals have grown on me. His slightly-accented and clear voice is very soothing and melodic, yet even though he's typical of a power metal vocalist, he's unique enough to distance himself from the many other vocalists in the genre. However, to give you an idea of what to expect - at times he reminds me of Blaze Bayley, who's known for his time with Iron Maiden and for his solo career.

Bastian doesn't just provide the vocals though, he's also the keyboard and piano player. There are hardly any keyboard and/or symphonic parts present, but there are numerous piano parts, which are wonderful and fit the band's style perfectly. The guitar work, though strong, quite varied and far from generic/repetitive, seems to be led by Bastian's soothing voice. Really, the vocals and musical arrangements compliment each other very well, and 'Separated from today' as a whole is quite enjoyable.

The CD contains the usual amount of 10 tracks and ranges in tempo from slow to fast, but don't expect a ton of speed here, as it's obvious the band is staying away from the typically fast-paced power metal style. In fact, this is deep, emotional and sometimes intense, with the lyrics based on the situations and affects of war. It's a CD that's best when it gets your full attention, as oppposed to a CD that can easily be listened to in the background and has those ultra-fun choruses shining through. Actually, my favorite song just might be the slow track 6 "All of it gone", as Bastion sings with a lot of passion and sounds terrific.

So we end up with a debut that won't blow you away, but instead is one that's pleasant, enjoyable and quite promising. I have no complaints and nothing negative to say about what the band has done here. 'Separated from today' is a strong, well done and recommended CD.



CLINT




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