Goddamn. Can you believe that Eighteen Visions used to be a hardcore band?! Although it might still have been somewhat believable when the nu-metal-tinged Vanity was released in 2001, that notion seems almost ludicrous now, in light of this latest release. Nevertheless, Obsession raises the bar for the band, delivering something quite different; much less heavy, much less technical, but with a new direction, stronger songwriting and production that is a world away from where they started with Yesterday is Time Killed. Their ascent to the big leagues of rock stardom has successfully managed to strip away that final layer that once marked them as members of the hardcore faithful, and so here we are now, with a new album that chronicles a band’s rebirth into something entirely new and different, something that sounds like… Stone Temple Pilots? Strange but true.
Obsession is a crisp, poppy rock album ripe with at least two radio singles (“I Let Go” and “Waiting for the Heavens”) and a slew of other tracks that will sound just fine alongside your STP and latter-day Guns N Roses collections. Most of the hardcore stuff has melted away, leaving only the powerful album highlight “Tower of Snakes” to stand as proof that these guys can still shred. Of course, this isn’t to say that Obsession isn’t likable. In fact, it’s much more accessible than anything the band has done to date, and the songwriting showcases a tremendous step forward for them. However, you definitely get the feeling that 18V would be much more comfortable opening for Velvet Revolver these days than they would sharing a co-headlining slot with Poison The Well or Walls of Jericho. Long-time fans that were hoping the Death of New Metal would have shoved these Orange County boys back closer to their roots will be sorely disappointed, but anyone who is a fan of glam-tinged hard rock is sure to find something they like about this release.
Eighteen Visions: www.eighteenvisions.com