Desert of Our Dreams by VannonRelease date: September 10, 2021
Label: Big Round Music
Sometimes, even the lettering on the album cover is a giveaway about what kind of music you are to hear within its grooves (or streaming bits, if you will).
So, looking at the cover of ‘Desert of Our Dreams,’ the new album by Oakland’s Vannon, you can be quite sure that there’s some heavy metal music there waiting to be blasted at 11 out of 10 on the volume scale.
Ok, so that is clear. What is not is what kind of sub-genre you can label it with, and even more importantly, whether it is good heavy metal or is it just a formulaic going through the motions.
Let’s start with the subgenres first. There, the fans of heavy metal that want their sub-genres neat and clean might encounter a problem with Vannon. You see the four guys in the band (Max Hodes: lead vocals, guitar, Sven Pazarek: bass, keys, backing vox, Nick Willbrand: bassMike Hans Lawson: drums) play a bit dirt here – they veer almost everywhere, from psych metal to stoner doom, to speed metal and elsewhere. They even throw in a Soundgarden-like sounding sort-of-a-ballad in (“Above The Stars,” “Took Off Running”), just to muddy up things a bit further.
And it is exactly that movement through various heavy metal variations that make ‘Desert of Our Dreams’ an interesting and engaging listen, even for those listeners that only occasionally venture into heavy metal.