Vision of Disorder

The Cursed Remain Cursed

The Cursed Remain Cursed

Reviewed By Simon Milburn
Published 16 September, 2012
Link: Myspace Page

Could the cursed be blessed with this release?

I have to be honest and admit that my first introduction to New York’s Vision of Disorder was 2001’s From Bliss to Devastation. Although I totally dig the hook that oozes from the lead single Southbound, overall it was a mediocre and generally unexciting album. A decade on and my opinion hasn’t really changed on those rare occasions that I dust off the CD and give it a spin. In fact, I always read how it’s predecessor, the band’s sophomore offering Imprint (from 1998), was a much superior record and how that particular album was the band’s defining moment and generally truer to the band’s hardcore roots.

For a very long time, I never cared enough to go back and find out. Let’s face it – Vision of Disorder were dead in the water as of 2002 after becoming frustrated with the lack of label support. Now though, I can see just why fans revolted as they did to From Bliss to Devastation. Whilst various band members went on to other projects such as Bloodsimple, a sparse drip feed of appearances here and there eventually lead to speculation of the band reforming. 11 years on, and Vision of Disorder are back with their fifth official long player, titled The Cursed Remain Cursed, and fans of Imprint should rejoice.

Right from the outset, it seems that this is a band that has seen the error of its ways. Clearly, as Loveless gets into gear and takes off, Vision of Disorder have got their mojo back. Sure the chorus hints marginally at the catchiness that sounded the death knell of the band a decade ago, but the choppy riffs and snarling vocals signal a band back with a serious fire lit under their collective arses.

The key driving force here though is the riffs. For a band throwing back to hardcore influences of their past, the guitars are clearly busier than you’d expect from anything rooted in the genre. By the same token, there’s an air of simple beauty to the guitar work of Mike Kennedy and Matt Baumbach and when combined with a stomping rhythm section that matches in every way, the end result is a sinister and gritty collection of material that is sure to appease fans of the band’s earlier material.

Not to be ignored, vocalist Tim Williams is absolutely on fire. When angst and aggression is called for, it pours from every essence of his performance. When melody is required, he delivers in a very introspective style a-la the late, great Layne Staley of Alice in Chains. Williams performance is every bit as critical to the winning formula that Vision of Disorder have rediscovered with this album.

Vision of Disorder could have very easily repeated what they did with their previous effort – appease the trends going on within metal at the moment. They could have gone metalcore or something way more radical such as introducing djent influences to further divide and frustrate their fan base. Instead, they proudly raised their middle finger and scream “fuck you” by returning to their roots with The Cursed Remain Cursed. Welcome back the real Vision of Disorder – you’ve been sorely missed.

Candlelight Records