There are bands that refuse to quit, refuse to let the years stop them from releasing new albums. Many remain on a steady basis. For example, we can typically count on a new SLAYER record every few years. But some bands practice a different method, regrouping periodically to drop sonic assaults on an unsuspecting world and then returning to the shadows of hiatus purgatory. This year marks the return of VISION OF DISORDER. The legendary pioneers of New York Hardcore have resurfaced with their first release since 2012. Razed To the Ground is out November 13 through Candlelight Records.
Now, for those familiar with my normal choice in reviews, you’re likely wondering why I’m excited for a hardcore release, when I’ve professed my undying passion for prog-metal so endearingly. And while I’m not typically a big fan of hardcore, the genre has produced a handful of groups that I’ve grown to love, and VOD is certainly at the top of that list. Hell, I even liked their 2001 disc, From Bliss to Devastation, which garnered a great deal of controversy from fans for being too close to nu-metal. You know, the type of whiney, piss-ant fans that hate when bands try new things.
Good news for all, Razed To the Ground is more reflective of the influences that drove the group’s signature album, 1997’s Imprint. Starting off fast and heavy, “Heart of Darkness” opens with a grinding chord riff and lo-fi screaming from Tim Williams. The song features a gritty and haunting chorus that proves the group can find subtle melody without importing pop influences. The chainsaw effect continues on tracks like “Hours in Chaos”, “Red on the Walls”, “Severed Wing”, “Amurdica A Culture of Violence” and the disc’s title track. A slower burn can be found on “Electric Eye”, a churning inferno that starts fast, but moves to a more mid-paced beat down. “Craving” and “Cut My Teeth” share similarities in tempo shifting.
By my standard, the time off has fared well for VISION OF DISORDER. The group has put together a visceral record from beginning to end, full of raw aggression, free of any form of polishing. While they haven’t exactly changed the game, the group put together exactly what hardcore needs, a reminder of what the genre is about. It’s piss and vinegar, served in DIY fashion, free of high-top skate shoes and flat-rimmed baseball caps. Learn yourself a lesson, grab a copy of Razed To the Ground on November 13. This will be on the final.
STANDOUT TRACKS: ALL OF THEM