Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Von - 3nity

The Von’s debut release Ei8ht introduced rock music fans to one of the most flexible power trios emerging in recent memory. This unit hails from a region not particularly renowned for producing acts in this vein, South Florida, but we are fortunate rock music has no geographical restrictions. Ei8ht’s songs touched on themes of self-empowerment and spirituality and, if anything, their focus has only grown with the release of this latest EP. It has a conceptual air that even the last release lacked and, even over three songs, it has a fully realized artistic point of view that makes for a memorable statement. This consolidates and expands the triumph of the first album in spectacular fashion. 

The practically acapella opening of “I Know It’s Love” creates an enormous sense of anticipation for the song to truly begin. It’s quite a rush when it does and The Von never need to exert much effort in sustaining its energy over the song’s short two minutes and change running time. There’s a lightly breathless quality to bassist Luis Bonilla’s vocals, but he has a variety of other approaches that gives the song much of its uniqueness and great instincts for using his phrasing talents in tasteful fashion. Marek Schneider’s guitar as a beautifully vocal quality and stresses the song’s melodic virtues while drummer Elisa Seda keeps things percolating from his first entrance onward. “Nature of the Beast” benefits most from a crushing groove impossible for anyone to ignore, but The Von throws a few key shifts into the mix to vary the stew some. Schneider’s guitar sounds simply couldn’t be any better suited for this sort of music and has tremendous presence. Bonilla often seems like he’s tailoring his vocals here to Schneider’s guitar playing, but a closer listen reveals a comprehensive attention to the marriage between his voice and the surrounding instruments.  

Some of the band’s spacey, pseudo-psychedelic inclinations emerge on the EP’s last song. “My Heart Machine” is quite theatrical as well and it’s to the band’s credit that they are talented enough to create such compelling mind-movies with this music. This is where the band’s progressive leanings emerge even more strongly than before and Bonilla responds with a fantastic vocal that moves freely between stirring passages and hazy, dreamy vocals lightly treated with post production effects. 3nity has eye-popping diversity for such a short release and stretches the boundaries of what constitutes a traditional EP. “My Heart Machine” is, arguably, the musical peak. 

The Von are far more than dabblers or dilettantes. Their songwriting on 3nity is sparked with genuine inspiration and an abundance of talent. Two other crucial ingredients are ambition and tastefulness brought into perfect balance with one another – there’s a sense of the band striving for a high peak without ever overreaching. Luis Bonilla’s powerful vocals convey the message and meaning of each song in a highly personal way while the lyrics never attempt to be too heavy-handed and not allow listener’s the freedom of their own interpretations. 3nity is one of the year’s best releases in any form.  

9 out of 10 stars 

William Elgin III

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