Pretty Solitude – Vanity – LP Review

The Swedish outfit Pretty Solitude have a new LP – Vanity – set for release on the 18th February.

Pretty Solitude - Vanity - artwork

Pretty Solitude – Vanity – artwork

Opening the ten track, forty minute release with Breathe With Me Now the sounds are immediately recognizable as the soft focus of a lens on the introversion that is the signature sound of Pretty Solitude floats gently around the room.

Next is the title track – Vanity – which has a lower register to it giving the band a more oppressive feel. The unmistakeable vocal of Rebecka Heijel adds a stark imploring perspective to the piece.

Scars is of a different refrain with a more nuanced piece as the instrumentation is given centre stage to deliver its bold statements that set the scene for a vocal that has two distinct styles inside the track, enabling the band to explore the central theme in considerable detail. A great composition.

Of a somewhat lighter note is Chance in which the band take a more rock derived song and temper it in their familiar vein.

Lost In Japan is steeped in atmospherics which allows the band to explore themes from a slightly different angle with considered emphasis on the activity off centre stage.

Of a completely different feel is Naked a track of spikey movements, almost robotic. An interesting direction of travel, which allows Pretty Solitude to deliver something which stands at variance to their normal sounds and it works well.

Patient is of more familiar territory, though the second half of Vanity does have a more outward reaching feel to it as the band once again produce a more rock derived piece.

Confirmation is my pick of the release as it is invested with the sounds at the heart and soul of Pretty Solitude, whilst simultaneously capturing the artistry of the musicians in a track that invests a mastery of composition.

The penultimate track, The Others, is acoustic led giving an opportunity for the vocal, which delivers the inflections and atmosphere, to sit in splendid isolation in a delightful soulful piece of writing.

Concluding the LP is Even Tuesdays, which rounds off a well put together album on a particularly strong note.

Pretty Solitude have put together an LP in Vanity which begins with the familiar and as it progresses so the band evolves, with the second half of the release offering a new and intriguing possible avenue for future material.

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Beyond Visions

Beyond Visions a Heavy rock band from Stockholm in Sweden is Rebecka Heijel (Vocal), Henrik Jansson (Drums) and Alexander Berg (Guitar).

Beyond Vision - Metal from Sweden

Beyond Vision

Longer term readers will recognize Rebecka from Pretty Solitude, Beyond Visions are far removed from that iteration. Having been together since 2007 the band has developed a strong cohesion though for various reasons haven’t maximised their potential, 2013 and beyond could well see all this change with the release of their debut LP the twelve track Your Face Is Familiar which is available on iTunes*.

The guitar scythes its way across the room with a percussion that rolls through everything in its path and a triumphant vocal rides victoriously through the landscape. High voltage rock played with confidence is good on the ears and Beyond Visions have spent their time well, honing their craft, as this is most certainly a tight sounding outfit who can throw out the gauntlet of flailing guitars, whilst inside it sits a sense of mythical Scandinavian legends of the gods.

It will be interesting to see if Beyond Visions take this opportunity to capitalise on their evident talent to take this to a wider audience or whether they will continue to take the ethereal route they have taken thus far with fleeting releases far apart.

If you enjoy heavy rock with the ability to capture the mind then this trio is a great place to spend some time and I hope it isn’t another four years before they deliver their next album.


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