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Vacant Image

Before 12

Album Review

Vacant Image is an alternative rock band based in Melbourne, Australia. While their fans may claim they are fast-paced rock with some metal influences, this release strikes me more as a groove orientated album. At least from the start of this record. As the tracks progress, you hear various influences and the speed most certainly kicks into high gear with some tracks. However, they focus their efforts more on tank like rhythm, with riffage that continues throughout, as is needed for the genre.

What I found to be most surprising, was the bass tone. It was clear, full, present in the mix, taut underneath the guitars, and yet becoming one with the drummer. Rock and metal music as a whole tend to lust after a mix that drowns out the bassist, which can affect a mix poorly, leaving for much to be desired. While the tone and presence of the bass varies from track to track; it serves its purpose well, making for great sounding guitars and drums. An audible bass does not take away from anyone's spotlight, in fact, it only makes the final mix fuller and the guitars sound better.

It's a very well-produced album and the mix will hold its value over time. Sometimes records outlive the life expectancy but do not have a well mixed album to stand on. Believe me, Before 12 is the band's most ambitious and perhaps aerodynamic release yet. Vacant Image expresses their creative vision through superior musicianship. Period. Whether it is the vocals that stand above the mix or the harmonious guitars. The bass and drums uniquely serve as their own focal point. Though the group has only released demos in 2016, this band has
escalating popularity, attributed by a reliable stream of tracks and songwriting abilities.

This eleven track album is unique, not only for the underground but for musicians as a whole.