Vacant Stare

1. Obscured
3. A Head Start
4. Patience
Where I Stand
6. Come Face Up
7. Halving The Fuse
8. Prognosis
9. Seeds Of Unrest
10. I Am...

Copro Records
Date Released: 25th March, 2002

VACANT STARE - Vindication - Album Cover

If you’ve experienced Vacant Stare before this album, maturity is the first word that forms when you listen to this. For so long the Cinderella of the ball, existing as something in the underground only to momentarily disappear before becoming cocooned ready for metamorphosis, and emerging as such a resplendent creature, majestic masters at a new art and adapting to the latest conditions.

There are plenty of great melodies and vocals, exceptional songs that are still strong and hard but also crafted and polished, hitting you one after another in a relentless desire to impress. Songs that implant melody into your mind and press ‘replay’ over and over again, and they manage this without sacrificing any power or energy because those elements are more than fully represented. Its ultimate success has been in creating such a huge sound to this album; it’s big and prolific, yet invaluable and rewarding.

But lets just focus back on those vocals. WOW! They’re no longer dependant on the barking, shouting and rapping confines of a genre. It’s incredible; it just must be a different bloke? However it isn’t, James Manning has shown his true potential with the help of some hard work and professional tuition. This has added an extra dimension with some truly great singing, which opens so many more aspects to the bands music. Now there is room for more commercial and assessable material to be exhibited as shown by A Head Start and Inertia, as well as improving old favourites like Come Face Up and Prognosis. There’s also substantially heavier ground established with the hard and aggressive metal songs such as Obscured and Halving The Fuse which helps maintain a delicate balance. All this and more with a contribution of guest vocals by the gregarious Karl Middleton (of ET9 fame) on the awesomely heavy Seeds Of Unrest, who just adds an extra ounce of elbow grease to a already gleaming gem.

It seems that the record deal struck with Copro Records has given Vacant Stare the platform to fully unleash their ideas, as well as the space to mould results into the shape that they’ve always wanted. Yes, maturity is written in large letters all over this album, not just with the vocals, but by the whole band who have made a genuinely stunning rock album. Ignore at your own peril!

Rigsby (29th April, 2002)
Transcripts From The Downtuned

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