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Album Review: VISION OF DISORDER The Cursed Remain Cursed

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For someone who likes heavy music in all its forms, Vision of Disorder really is the best of all worlds. In one band you get the riffing of extreme metal, the aggression of hardcore, and the raw anger of 90’s grunge. Aside from Acid Bath, I don’t think I’ve heard any other bands do this so well. I’ll admit with some embarrassment that it wasn’t until I read Sergeant D’s enthusiastic endorsement that I even knew who they were. At first listen, I was hooked. I felt outraged at the lack of recognition they receive in hardcore circles when compared to their 90’s contemporaries. This goes for hard-rock as well, as 2001’s From Bliss to Devastation easily crushes any of the inane garbage that gets peddled as “hard-rock” today. Since I was too young to know them in the 90’s, this frees me up from any sort of true-fan-elitism about their early releases (awesome as they are) that plagued the band when they tried to do new things. And after listening to The Cursed Remain Cursed, I can already praise it as one of the essential releases of 2012.

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To make a successful comeback album, a band needs to do two things- retain their signature sound, but avoid simply regurgitating their past work. While I thought Earth CrisisTo The Death and Neutralize the Threat were both kickass hardcore albums (all they really needed to be), they sounded a little too much like the bands they influenced, rather than themselves. Vision of Disorder manages to pull off this balancing act brilliantly, sounding relevant and fresh, while still sounding like…well…Vision of Disorder.

Vision of Disorder has taken their sound and packed The Cursed with a feast of winning tracks. Loveless* is a fantastic opener with its heavy groove and Tim Williams’ signature combination of vicious screams and mid-range clean vocals. Williams has one of those perfectly raspy voices, as if his voice box was tailor-made for heavy music. This gives the band an element of catchiness lost on many other metallic-hardcore bands out today. Other bangers include the spastic energy of Blood Red Sun, the haunting and eerie dirge of Skullz Out (Rot in Pieces), and Be Up On It, no less than a musical kick to the face.

“Gee Drew, don’t you have anything critical to say?”

Well, it’s tough to find anything not to like about The Cursed. However, one or two songs do sound like filler, as if the band said “I don’t like the number nine; let’s try to record at least a couple more songs.”

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But even then…this filler is pretty damn good filler.

If you like metal-influenced hardcore with a taste of the Seattle sound, then stop wasting your time and GET THIS ALBUM. As a music fan, it’s important not to get jaded and keep seeking out bands you may have missed. Who knows? You might just end up like me when I discovered VOD and thought, without even a hint of irony, “Wow, this fucking rules!!!”

9 out of 10

Favorite Songs: Loveless, Blood Red Sun, Hard Times, Skullz Out (Rot in Pieces), The Seventh Circle, and Be Up On It

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*Just as an interesting side note, Loveless’ chant of “I’ve got my own” reminded me a lot of the “I choose my own” chant from Hatebreed’s Before Dishonor– one great song begets another!
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