Design By Humans
Published On: Mon, Dec 6th, 2021

Vannon: Desert of Our Dreams

Desert of Our Dreams

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Oakland heavy metal-er’s Vannon throws us into Desert of Our Dreams, with their new album.

Off the scary soundscape of opener “Call Up A Storm,” we get the balls-to-the-wall “Two Snakes,” with the wildly fast drumming from Mike Hans Lawson. Max Hodes and Sven Pazarek lend considerable harmonies through what eventually becomes a slight instrumental section where Hodes gets to wail.

Jumping ahead slightly in these eight, we come to “Desert of Our Dreams,” with its sailing swash of key sounds into a high sad single-note opening. There’s no wailing guitars or kinetic drums here, and the tune flows perfectly into my favorite here, the beautiful harmonies of (and in the very beginning only the vocals really) of “Took Off Running.” Yes, the guitars slice in here, but this epic is mainly set by plaintive solid vocals.

“Cold July” presents an echo electric countered by the heavier section where Nick Willbrand’s bass holds the foursome through the big heavy stepping.

The 12-minute “Come To Destroy,” the last tune here, opens with lots of atmosphere from the keys and way-back-in-the-mix guitar noodling, plus what sounds like some key-created howls. Hodes gets to screaming soon, and the band starts to roll into the storm at about the three-minute mark. Overall, this is a slow slog of high-flying lead vocal, impressive “oohs,” and the band smacking hard. It’s a good stab at a longer epic, the low growling, and kinetic riffery, those harmonies, and Hodes’ impressive screaming explaining the landscape we are in, but the drama doesn’t make up for the cacophony.

Still, I recommend Vannon’s Desert of Our Dreams. There is great playing, songwriting, and singing here from a heavy band that surprised me many times.

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Vannon: Desert of Our Dreams