Review Summary: Cohesive yet indifferent, "A Clearer View" shows a young band with potential ahead in the future.
In the midst of waiting for my new guitar to be delivered to my front porch today, I decided to browse BandCamp for some new artists. Some were relatively awful, some were average, and some were pretty damn good. In comes Versions, a metalcore band hailing from Italy. Boy, was I glad I clicked the "hear more" link.
"A Clearer View" is the band's first full-length, and it's a pretty solid release from such a young band. Featuring ten tracks, and clocking in at around 24 minutes, it is lengthy enough to hold fans over, but not so long that it overstays it's welcome. While it's nothing special (especially in the most saturated genre there is), it proves Versions are cohesive as a band, and compliment each other well. You'll find tasty riffs, catchy choruses, and yes of course, breakdowns. As I said, Versions aren't breaking any new ground, but they sure as hell have their feet firmly planted.
Where this album really shines is vocalist Sam Pullinger's vocals. He screams with raw intensity, often changing pitch and octaves, and his cleans are decent-enough to not drive you away from the music. He uses his cleans sparingly (as he should), and they are well placed as to not burden the album. His Italian accent does come through in the cleans, and at times makes it a tad difficult to understand what he's saying.
It's hard to define an exact genre for this album. While generally it's metalcore as can be, you'll find hidden sections of hardcore chants, punk vocals, and at times a general sense of ambience (see title track). Production on the album is solid, although not spectacular. As with most metalcore and metal releases in general, you'll be hard-pressed to know there ever was a bassist in the band. At times the album can get slightly repetitive, but they do change the format enough to keep you listening.