After 30 seconds of the opening title track, I knew I would like this band. After hearing the heartbreaking background to this album I both loved and respected them. They have broken the mould of modern melodic alt-rock with their full-length album, Eulogy. An ode to a fallen friend, the record serves as a heartbreaking reflection on extreme loss and the grief that follows.
Through previous releases and live performances throughout Canada, the band have fostered a dedicated and expansive fan base both locally and internationally. For those dedicated fans, this album is particularly emotive. As a new fan this hit me hard. ‘Eulogy’ is just that – a eulogy to their late guitarist Chasen Fraser. It tells the story of Chasen’s life, growing up transgender and ultimately being diagnosed with cancer at the age of 25. Some of these songs were written by Chasen during the final few months of his life, the remainder were written by the band upon his passing. The incredibly sad and real circumstances surrounding this release make it all the more emotive.
The opening title track encapsulates all of this. The lyrics are extremely moving, “we live in the hearts we leave behind” echoing in my head even now. Shorter than most songs, it instantly gives a taste of the album and the heartbreaking themes it deals with. These serious themes run through the album, taking the listener on a very real and tangible journey through the loss and grief the band experienced. This album does something original and meaningful with an emotion and experience that is universal yet often not talked about.
Each song on this album deserves a paragraph. The lyrics are beautiful, eloquent and expressive. The emotions very real and raw, through both the music and its presentation. This is an album that you must listen to from beginning to end and in order, each song speaks to your soul in a different way about the grief of losing a loved one. This album has reduced me to tears several times, that effect hasn’t disappeared no matter how many times I listen to this album.
‘Communion’ is the second last song on the album and this one packed one of the biggest punches. For me, the song is very grounded, bringing the listener back to what this album is truly about; grief. “I breathe deep, and I give thanks for what you meant to me”, one of the final lines of this song that is closer to a spoken word poem, stands out as a mournful reflection of what has been lost. Barely a whisper for this single line where everything seems to halt, it acts as a crucial reminder of the raw honesty of this whole album and the story behind it. Never before has something so simple as drums moved me as much in this song (and this album), the beautiful melody hits you hard and the lyrics deliver that final punch. This song is a soaring, elegiac tribute to grief and loss.
The album highlights the various styles the band suit. Not limiting themselves to just one sound, Vaultry combine elements of bands like Neck Deep, PVRIS and Being as an Ocean. This is highlighted in songs like ‘Wildfire’, ‘Ghost Writing’ featuring Tom Vanderkam and ‘Cold Tea’. Whilst all these songs sound different and approach rock from a slightly different angle, there’s a definitive Vaultry sound that makes each one stand out.
‘Eulogy’ screams honesty throughout. Combining sung and spoken word vocals, relentless rhythm and commanding guitars, Vaultry make a very real connection with listeners; their music speaks to the very heart of a person, tapping into emotions that people can empathise with. This album was over far too soon and I’m eager to hear what’s next for them.