Those of the music industry often despise the word formulaic. Its basic meaning interpreted for music would be hearing the same song over and over again on an album, but the catch is that it's really a different song each time. Eighteen Visions is nearly the epitome of a band being formulaic. Despite that fact though, the band's latest record isn't half bad. The image the band portrays (leather jackets, dark sunglasses, and spiked/shaggy hair) nearly matches the music. Eighteen Visions
is a cliché fest indeed, but as said before, it's not as bad as most would want to believe.
This album is full of fist pumping songs and that's something that seems to be necessary anymore to please the 'Rock N' Roll' populous of this generation. To really hit the mark a lot of bands both good and bad will like to open their record with a heavy song. Rise Against
did it with Siren Song of the Counter Culture
, so why shouldn't it be a surprise that Eight Visions would do that too? "Our Darkest Days" however is the complete opposite of a heavy song and doesn't exactly fit the bill that this 'wanna be Avenged Sevenfold' group would normally fit. "Our Darkest Days" doesn't do that. It's the slowest song of the record, but it's also a really great track and perfect opener to Eighteen Visions
. The lead guitar opens "Our Darkest Days" with single note plucking that provides a great ambient texture, which sets up the 'chorus' that comes immediately afterwards perfectly. "We must escape our darkest days" serves as the chorus even though it comes up fairly quickly, and the verse comes right after it. The first hint that maybe Eighteen Visions isn't as formulaic as originally thought.
After just one song the thought that Eighteen Visions
is going to end up as a great, if not phenomenal record surprisingly isn't out of the question. Well, the first single and song right after "Our Darkest Days" continues to expand the many moods of the record. "Victim" provides the fist-pumping that is expected with a throaty chorus repeated probably one too many times, but still is a nice provider of 'head-banging' moments. The head-banging parts of Eighteen Visions
are one of the stronger points of the album, but the greatest piece of the puzzle is just now to be mentioned. Group vocals, bands such as AFI
, and more recently Rise Against
have made the quality of their music increase ten-fold by putting group vocals into the music. Eighteen Visions does this here as well and it's the strongest piece of Eighteen Visions
. Nearly every song has group vocals and that's exactly why the record has staying power instead of being a once in a year listen; the heavier songs benefit the most from this. "Coma" is a heavy on the riffs song, but probably would have ended up as one of the more weaker tracks if not for the addition of catchy "whoa-ah, whoa-ah"'s in the mix.
didn't turn out amazing as it may have appeared in the begginging, but the band definitely has pulled out a big surprise. It's not original and does follow a basic structure that doesn't have too much variation instrumentally, but things like the group vocals and variety of moods conveyed help quite a bit to truly make this album worth its money. So maybe the 'Goth' Rock image of a leather jacket, dark shades, and spiked/shaggy hair is cool? Hah, not since the 80s, and even then it was pretty lame.
+Several emotions portrayed through lyrics and vocals
+A lot of songs are quite different from each other...
-...however the album is still quite formulaic
-Instrumentally, this is quite weak
+"Our Darkest Days"