By Matt Hinch
Vision of Disorder last released an album (From Bliss to Devastation) in 2001. It’s now 11 years later and these Long Island boys, more affectionately known as VOD, are back with The Cursed Remain Cursed. A lot has happened since FBTD was released. Take me for example. I’ve moved 6 times. I got married and had 3 kids. I’ve had 6 jobs and I’m on my 8th car. Nothing is the same as it was in 2001. So would I expect a band to be the same after all that time? No. I expect them to be better. I admit it. I fell into the trap of expecting the return of VOD to crack the Earth in two. But really, the amount of time between records is irrelevant. What matters is now.
And now is good. (And yes, better.)
The Cursed Remain Cursed (Candlelight Records) actually sounds pretty close to what I expected it to. I’ve been listening to Sick Of It All quite a bit lately so my mind was in that metal tinged, NYHC happy place and VOD dropped in on the party. They’ve taken that sound rooted in 90s hardcore and freshened it up. Bringing with them a plethora of hooks and energy to spare, it doesn’t take long to get the adrenaline pumping. Opener “Loveless” see guitarists Matt Baumbach and Mike Kennedy along with bassist Mike Fleischmann lay down riffs both bangable and moshable. Its intensity washing away any stains of doubt that VOD can still bring it. Carrying that energy throughout the album, TCRC keeps the listener physically engaged for the entirety. Whether it’s the southern modalities of “Skullz Out (Rot in Pieces), the sinister “The Seventh Circle”, the bouncing “Be Up On It” or the barely restrained “The Enemy”, the catchy riffs found therein and classy drum work of skinsman Brendon Cohen will not only be buried deep in the brain, but will compel you to move. Amidst all this aggression most every song features a moment of clarity. As if stepping back to take a breath and assess the situation. This is usually brief before VOD plunge back into the ground and pound attack, fists flying and necks snapping. (From bliss to devastation. natch)
Leading the vanguard is vocalist Tim Williams. No matter the intensity of his vocals at any given time, the threat of it all becoming unhinged is constant. His rage boils to the surface as emotional scars are ripped open in fits of catharsis. His dry screams feel like genuine expressions of inner turmoil rather than contrived attempts at sounding badass or evil. I can’t help but think his varied delivery has influenced scores of vocalists fronting hardcore hybrids. Harangue’s Michael Kopko and Liam Cormier of Cancer Bats specifically come to mind. Williams takes all the pain and suffering, heartache and bitterness of the lyrics and spits them in your face. All the blood, sweat and tears inherent in life vocalized through bile and venom. It’s all too easy to get caught up in the fervor and shred your own throat to “Heart and Soul”, “Hard Times” and “Set to Fail” as the tendency to identify with the themes is inescapable.
Disorder is the natural state of the universe. Life is disorder. No matter how much we try, any order we impose will eventually return to a state of disorder. The cursed remain cursed. That’s life. So one could view VOD as Vision of Life. They can see how messed up life is and channel that negative energy into one of 2012’s most pissed off albums. VOD may feel cursed, but they aren’t keeping quiet about it. “Gimme hate, gimme love. Gimme what I fucking deserve.”