Obsession, Desire, Depression: themes that drive a strenuous romantic entanglement forward, fixations that paralyze and motivate with equal measure and three words - or at least the first two - that perfectly sum up the state of Eighteen Visions. This is typically the hyperbole filled part of the bio for a record like "Obsession" where it tries to convince you that it's "the band's most accessible material to date" while "it fails to sacrifice any of the band's signature heaviness." But you know what? Screw that.
Because Eighteen Visions are going for broke. This is the album of their career. A landmark, a turning point, a clearly articulated punch to the face that drives home the point hinted at with 2002's band-in-transition album, "Vanity," which produced the "Headbanger's Ball" staple, "You Broke Like Glass", that Eighteen Visions can become THE heavy rock band of today.
Together with producer Mudrock, whose knob-twiddling muscled-up Godsmack and added a glossy sheen to Avenged Sevenfold, the Orange County Metalcore mob have crafted thirteen bite-sized, hook-laden, fast-moving surefire singles of their most memorable material, each song whizzing by with a chorus that sticks in your head.
On "Obsession," flashes of the Deftones, HIM, Vision of Disorder and Stone Temple Pilots are evident, while Eighteen Visions have completely come into their own at the same time, proving once and for all why they've always been leaders in Southern California and not followers.
"This Time" pours out of the speakers like a fall rain, while "Tower of Snakes" crushes with the type of riffage the band mastered on their ferocious Trustkill debut, "Until the Ink Runs Out," while alternately containing the record's most explosive chorus - "Are you running away from me/ Are you running away from you?" Radiohead would have been proud to have penned the album's closer, "Said and Done," while "Guilty Pleasures" is sure to set radio dials ablaze.
Keith Barney's multi-layered guitars, particularly on tracks like the letter to an absent father called "Crushed" or the late-night meditation of "Pretty Blue," betray the album's outward simplicity. James Hart has become a David Bowie or Scott Weiland for the new millennium, pushing his performance on "Obsession" beyond imaginary boundaries into a classy and tasteful expression of his inner-most fears, desires and all of the insecurity and arrogance that make a frontman truly great. Don't believe us? Listen to "Bleed By Yourself."
Hart's longtime collaborative partner and band cofounder Ken Floyd knows how to temper a ballad like "I Should Tell You" while propelling the album's grooves on songs like "The Long Way Home," which is heavy as hell. Bassist Mick Morris is locked in with Ken throughout, while adding a bottom end to Barney's flourishes that is at once innovative and multi-colored and yet totally nails the songs down.
After years spent pursuing other projects and passions, all of the bands members have put Eighteen Visions first and foremost in their lives, and it shows. This album is all or nothing. They're ready to take on the world. The band opens up with an album length meditation on a relationship full of heartache, despair, desperation and confusion that at the same time has forged a true loyalty and strength through perseverance not unlike the band's long road to "Obsession" itself.
And should you be surprised? Hell no, this is Eighteen Visions we're talking about, the band who brought a flamboyance to the hardcore scene that everyone copied at a time when cargo shorts and jerseys were all the rage. They've changed the scene and now, they've fulfilled their promise by changing themselves. "Obsession" is a force to be reckoned with across all genres, and Eighteen Visions are ready for the big-time, even if the big-time isn't ready for them. Here they come.
|Eighteen Visions breaks up (23)||10 April 2007|
|18 Visions release pushed back (2)||10 March 2004|
15 February 2005 · Josh Grabelle, president of Trustkill Records, welcomes you when you put this DVD in your player. But thatís not the last youíll see of him, because he tells a background story about every video and... »
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