Review Summary: Metalcore pioneers return with a comfortably vicious album that defies expectations.
It's no secret that the music industry can be a bitch at times. New York's Vision Of Disorder started their career in the mid-nineties releasing two records that would soon become pivotal to forming the new genre. Both their debut self-titled and its more polished successor Imprint
combined intense, socially aware hardcore with booming trash metal arrangements. Later on, this style was dubbed metalcore and has been copied millions of times by numerous bands ever since. Yet, Vision Of Disorder have never seemed to get enough credit for inspiring so many musicians remaining a tragically undervalued band. Even their most accessible 2001's album From Bliss To Devastation
failed to improve their outsider status.
Aptly titled, The Cursed Remain Cursed
marks the quintet's comeback after eleven years of hiatus. Given a large amount of time that has passed since their last record, the expectations have been really high. To put it bluntly then, Vision Of Disorder are absolutely at the top of their game delivering their most consistent album to date. The key to the band's triumph lies in a palpable sense of anger that propels every single track on the disc. In case of this outfit, the permeating frustration stems from their failure to capitalize and even the titles of tracks are filled with disgust at not pulling the credit due them. The opener “Loveless” makes it it clear from the get-go that we're dealing with expertly-distilled, ferocious metallic hardcore that's hardly obsolete. The tight intro leads into muscular riffs complemented by Tim Williams' spiteful lyrics and fierce vocals which balance scathing screams with routinely powerful clean singing.
Further on, the band merges the harshness of their early discs with Southern metal-tinged riffing and supremely dark melodies of their third album into a fully developed sound. The emphasis is often put on crunchy bass lines that provide a backbone for such hard-hitting songs as “Set To Fail” and “Annihilator.” Elsewhere, threatening “Skullz Out (Rot In Pieces)” relies on a bludgeoning, sludgy riff which gives way to a full-throttle hardcore punk onslaught in the bridge. Both “Blood Red Sun” and “The Seventh Circle” find the quintet venturing into a more progressively inclined territory with their non-linear transitions and chaotic breakdowns. Particularly these tracks signal that Vision Of Disorder haven't lost their significance evolving into a force to be reckoned with in the contemporary music scene overpopulated with bands that lack credibility.
In the end The Cursed Remain Cursed
makes a really strong statement. In “Blood Red Sun” Williams proclaims: “This pain was never satisfied… but in the end I will never surrender.” The album may drip with thoroughly oppressive, grim messages, yet it also serves as a testament to the band's ongoing commitment to endure and create genuine music their long-time fans will certainly identify with.