Vision Of Disorder
From Bliss to Devastation
Armed with a new label and makeover of sorts, Vision Of Disorder unleash From Bliss to Devastation, unarguably the most-hyped mainstream metal record of the summer next to Puya’s Union. Well, it does, and it doesn’t • transcend its hype, that is. On one hand, VOD have forsaken their manic chugga-chugga burl of yore for bummed-out, open-ended groove here, dipping the intensity a couples notches and more often, allowing their songs to simmer for a bit longer, rendering them now far more headbang-friendly than moshpit-ready • and in most cases, all the better for it. Likewise, frontman Tim Williams has tempered • for the most part, anyway • his hardcore barks of old, almost overwhelmingly so, as nearly all of From Bliss to Devastation features an across-the-board clean tenor from him, one of which melodically falls rather close to Monster Magnet or Love Battery on less drugs and, most obviously, those templars of nu-metal trends, Fear Factory (i.e., people ape them): drifting, chilled, and most undeniably lonely-man-on-the-mountain. On the other hand, however, Williams’ vocal lamentations nod a bit too closely to Fear Factory’s Burton C. Bell, the man’s rare screams largely lacking intent and purpose and looking more like lip service to detractors who’ll claim VOD have gone “soft,” and From Bliss to Devastation‘s material similarly seems a bit stunted, perhaps too manic depressive, the grooves piled high but hazily: in plainspeak, VOD sound uncomfortable in their new laconic skin, so perhaps the album is something of a transitional record. If such is true, their next one could be a keeper, especially if they get another driller-killer production job from the ubiquitous Machine, but in the meantime, we’re left with what half-wit publicists would promote as a “more mature effort.” Ack.