Review by Dom Vigil
Eighteen Visions are back! Ten years ago, the band played what many thought would be the final show of their career, but a decade later, it feels like they haven’t even missed a beat. Complete with heavy hitting guitar work, vocals that feel like a punch to the gut and insightful, passionate lyricism, XVIII hits hard and never stops coming at you.
Since their inception over twenty years ago, Eighteen Visions have been inspiring other metalcore bands who have gone on to inspire the newer artists that are emerging today, which makes XVIII a monumental release simply for that reason alone. Although the times have changed and metalcore has evolved, the band is taking us back to the genre’s roots sonically while moving forward emotionally.
The unrelenting force behind XVIII can be heard right away in the album’s opening track, “Crucified,” which kicks off with raw, powerful vocals and heavy guitar work. If the chaotic “Crucified” doesn’t have you completely sold, stick around for the hard-hitting and dynamic “The Disease, The Decline and Wasted Time.” This second song is perfectly well rounded, complete with rage-fueled screams, melodic clean vocals, and a breakdown near the end that’ll make you want to punch anyone in your vicinity.
If there is an emotional high point on this album, the fourth track, “Live Again” is it. A powerful tribute to the band’s late bassist, Mick Morris, “Live Again” is Eighteen Visions at their best. You can practically feel the emotion dripping off of James Hart’s vocals. It’s at this point in the album that the lyrical content really begins to shine as well and things start to feel well rounded. Each song has its own specific strengths. Where “Live Again” is powerful emotionally, the following “Laid to Waste in the Shit of Man” hosts some of the album’s strongest drumming and melodic guitar work and vocals.
Musically, this album is simply explosive and unpredictable and lyrically, it keeps up and then some with smart one-liners and a long hard look at mankind. Sixth song, “Spit” is where things start to come to a rage fueled end, spearheaded by one of the few sound bites on the album, this time from the iconic movie, Gangs Of New York. “Spit” and the following song, “Picture Perfect” are a heavy assault on the senses and commentary on fakery and complacency. One of the strongest songs on the album is easily the second to last track, “Fake Leather Jacket,” though. A huge middle finger to the music industry, “Fake Leather Jacket” is also surprisingly one of the slower songs on the album, making the hushed one-liner, “Sadist corporate rapist” ring even louder.
XVIII feels like a spin kick to the throat. Relentless, rage-fueled, passionate and timeless, these ten songs mark the triumphant return of one of the scene’s most influential and iconic bands, and they certainly haven’t lost their spark. If anything, Eighteen Visions are back to teach the metalcore bands of 2017 a thing or two, and you better be paying attention.
LISTEN TO: "Live Again" or "Fake Leather Jacket"
Pre-order XVIII: https://riserecords.lnk.to/XVIII