Notch up another success for Trustkill Records. The label that brought such heavy hitters as Hopesfall and Poison the Well now brings some Vanity with Eighteen Visions. Call it glam metalcore or emo metal, but what Eighteen Visions accomplishes on its third CD for the New Jersey label is by no means extraordinary, yet it gets the job done. Balancing its 13-song act between driving hardcore, metal mosh breakdowns, and the occasional acoustic tune, this Orange County act has found a successful means to achieve notoriety and brutality simultaneously. The vocals carry much of the album, as James Hart shows a bit of range with some guttural growls while reverting to standard hardcore yells and taking up some actual singing, too. Lyrically, Eighteen Visions delves into betrayal, bitterness, and the straight-edge lifestyle, yet the bandmembers' capabilities in changing time signatures and styles mask any weakness that may pop up in the lyrics ("One Hell of a Prize Fighter" being a good example). Across the board, a definite comparison could be given to Burn It Down, which isn't much of a surprise since that disbanded group's vocalist, Ryan Downey, is close friends with the members of Eighteen Visions. Integrating various influences allows Eighteen Visions success among emo, hardcore, metal, and indie rock kids, but make no mistake: Vanity is most definitely a metalcore album, just with a nice pinch of this and a taste of that to make it lively. With members from Throwdown and backing from the Trustkill label, one can get a good idea of where this is going, but don't be shocked if you're not some metal kid and you still find yourself jamming along.
by Kurt Morris