Metalcore has seen a resurgence in popularity over the past few years, and Eighteen Visions, a band who were there at the beginning, before they moved on to more melodic and softer pastures following their dominance in the scene at the start of their career.
The band announced a comeback with a rather short clip of essentially just pure mosh. The rest of Eighteen Visions’ new album XVIII however doesn’t fully follow on from that! Those expecting a return to the sound the band had on Lifeless through to Vanity, are sorely mistaken, and sadly a the band have brought back with them a throwback to other metal genres. These center around nu, alt and heavy metal elements like seen on Spit, with James Hart’s vocals really embodying those genres take on rough, yet still clean singing, tackling those genres brilliantly. Sadly they feel a bit stale and don’t fully mix with the more clear Eighteen Visions sound on the rest of the track. Sure we’ve seen Hart mix cleans within a predominantly metalcore record on Vanity, yet here those other genres are far more prevalent and they don’t fully integrate with the sound 18V have cultivated.
The Disease, The Decline And Wasted Time, starts off slow and sludgy, also featuring Hart’s clean vocals, with one of the blandest and repetitive breakdowns released in a long time closing out the song. However, Oath is the record’s strongest track, and is the song they used to tease their comeback and new record. It’s got a great punchy weight to the instrumentation and Hart’s vocals, and while it doesn’t come towards the band’s older material, it certainly shows the band still have some fight left in them after over a decade away.
The record isn’t lost to the band’s mixing of genre’s, the majority of the songs have more than enough of their original atmosphere mixed in, and the boost in production from the band’s humble beginnings leaves 18V sounding better than ever in terms of sound quality. Plus if you are into heavy metal as well as metalcore, this could easily be one of your favorite albums, sadly however the sound bond together in places and the band’s take on the vocal style of bands like fellow Orange County metal act Avenged Sevenfold, don’t really do the record any favors.