Monday, 8 October 2012

Review: Vision of Disorder - The Cursed Remain Cursed

 Anyone that became attached to the wave of groove metal bands in the 1990s must have known that they were following some of the most serious and now respected bands in the business today. They also must have been aware that they'd have reached something of a pinnacle when the true blend of hardcore and groove laden heavy metal came crashing towards them in the form of 1996's self titled debut from New York bruisers Vision of Disorder. As an underground force in metal and a hidden influence on some of metalcore's biggest names today, the band find themselves with a reunion taking place in a time when the genre they influenced has sprung back to life with a whole new passion and integrity. And after eleven years, they prove that they have similar qualities about them with their fifth album The Cursed Remain Cursed.

 And with eleven years away, it's obvious that this album is an outlet for a lot of anger and intensity that has built up during this time. No moment for utter delirium is left to waste for a single second of this 40 minute rampage. From the opening grooves of Loveless, Matt Baumbach and Mike Kennedy dominate the mindset of listeners with pounding grooves, face kicking breakdowns as seen on The Enemy and Skullz Out (Rot in Pieces) and enough heart racing punk charges across the likes of Blood Red Sun and New Order of Ages to prove that they really do represent the perfect hardcore band of our modern age.

 It's with the return of the intense hardcore riffage the Vision of Disorder manage to characterize themselves perfectly within this modern context, thus making the marks of a perfect comeback. With the nihilistic screams of frontman Tim Williams that is just as thrilling on frighting on Annihilator and The Seventh Circle as they are melodic and near theatrical on Be Up On It and Set To Fail, the band set their craft to a sound that is unmistakably their own that will give fans of 90's hardcore some faith in today's generation of metalcore. But where could they go wrong with a frontman whose raspy vocals can be adapted to be the voice of energetic hardcore, doom-laden dirges and big punk based melodies. As someone that listened extensively to Every Time I Die before Vision of Disorder, it's now obvious who passed the torch on to the Buffalo quintet.

 With this combination of forces, the band create an album that is consistent in it's mixture of thickness, adrenaline and underlying grit from the streets of Long Island. Even the tracks like feel a little filler based have moments that will leave your jaws wide open. That said, filler is filler and with the purpose of hardcore albums to get it's point and sheer devastating impact across in as quick a time as possible, filler's not really an option.

 That aside, you're in for a no holds barred ride of pure hardcore with an album like The Cursed Remain Cursed. Vision of Disorder have never been a band to take things easy and with this album, it's a pure outlet of eleven years of fury, tension and built up rushes of intensity and unreleased energy, bursting out with heart racing velocity and ground shattering heaviness. One listen and the understanding of how serious metal with grooves was in the 1990s is reborn with a whole new relevance and understanding. And in a year where metalcore is really turning back into a musical style where the "core" element really means something, Visions of Disorder are back in action and topping the bills again.

Vision of Disorder's The Cursed Remain Cursed is out now via Candlelight.

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