Death Anxiety

An Album By

Pocket Vinyl

Review by

Pocket Vinyl is a unique group, with husband-and-wife duo Eric Stevenson and Elizabeth Jancewicz as the foundation. The self-proclaimed “piano slam rock” group tours full time, primarily around the New England area, with Stevenson on vocals, guitar and piano and a few rotating members on drums. Jancewicz adds a unique element to the group’s live shows by creating a new piece of art on stage, which is then auctioned off after the performance. Death Anxiety, released in October 2013, is Pocket Vinyl’s third album since 2010.

Stevenson has a smooth voice that carries a sense of insight and adds depth to the songs’ lyrics just with its style. Questioning is a strong theme throughout the album, questioning of self and our own perceptions of life, God and people. The lyrics don’t try too hard to be meaningful and profound, keeping sentiments simple and making them feel more sincere.

Most songs only contain subtle additions outside of piano and drums, so the tracks never seem too cluttered. Stevenson often builds his vocals up to ragged choruses that add more emotion, rather than expressing scream-like angst. It’s great to see another band featuring piano in more than just slow ballads, but the frequent “slam” style leaves you wishing for a more intricate and thoughtful melody at times.

Death Anxiety has 11 tracks, with most running closer to five minutes than three. The songs are each fairly solid; however, the album lacks diversity and it’s not always clear if the track has built up from a break or the next has started. Pocket Vinyl delivers a nice, smooth listening experience, but is probably best appreciated one track at a time.

Features

Heaven's Metal: An Oral History of the Genesis of Christian Metal

Heaven's Metal

When rock emerged from blues and 'heavy metal' began to surface, faith-based metal acts also rose to start their own journeys. Initially shunned by both believers and non-believers, they were fighting for their spot at the table, ultimately building a legacy that would go on to change the genre forever. HM presents an oral history of the beginning of Christian metal music, featuring Guardian, Tourniquet, Holy Soldier, Whitecross, and, of course, Stryper.

By

Full Feature
Imperial Triumphant - 2021

Alphaville’s Metal Renaissance

With influences that span Miles Davis and Stravinsky to Geddy Lee and Les Claypool, jazz metal force Imperial Triumphant is the epitome of genre-bending. HM contributing writer Andrew Voigt spoke with the band about their unique style, the massive bass presence in their music, and the rise and fall of civilization.

By

Photo by Alex Krauss

Full Feature
Atreyu- 2021

Atreyu's Baptism

At their core, Atreyu is a hard rock band with metal riffs and pop choruses. Now, after more than 20 years, the band has stepped boldly into their next chapter with a change in lineup and an album that proves the lifeblood of Atreyu is stronger than ever.

By

Photo by Ashley Osborn

Full Feature
All Features