Feb 1, 2016

Album Review: Vision of Disorder - Razed to the Ground

Vision of Disorder - Razed to the Ground
A Review by Robert Dean

This review is months late, but in the spirit of “better late than never” – I’d like to extend a sincere HOLY MOTHER FUCKING SHIT to the bros in Vision of Disorder. On their new record, Razed to The Ground, VOD have finally delivered the record their fans wanted: a logical continuation of their seminal record Imprint that all but left the late 90’s in its wake. 

While VOD went through a couple of phases and eventually broke up, their fans remained loyal to the past and still clinging to those old records that dropped on Roadrunner years ago. But, all of this plays into the greater Vision of Disorder story: it’s always felt like they were a move ahead of the curve, or just behind whatever trend was gripping metal at the time. 

VOD were never big enough to get those big score tours or albums, and that’s always been what their fans wear as a badge of honor because to get and understand Vision of Disorder isn’t for everyone and that’s what makes them honest. 

Vision of Disorder is a workingman’s hardcore band. They evolved, took risks and tried their hands at making music that means something, but they never did without the “all or nothing” mentality. If they believed in safety nets, they’d have never released From Bliss to Devastation, which if you follow musical trends, they were WAY ahead, on the whole, stoner/Clutch thing but the problem was that sound didn’t gel with their legacy as brutal hardcore dudes. 

From Bliss to Devastation isn’t a bad record, it’s just a jarring when put in comparison to other legacies, just as Cave In who went from defining Boston hardcore to sounding like the Foo Fighters, and then back to hardcore again. In metal, people don’t like reinvention unless it’s been explicit in your musical DNA since the jump. VOD wasn’t one of those bands, and people freaked the fuck out because they went from pile on’s and ESP guitars to Stratocasters and Sabbath riffs. 

So, that decision to buck the musical trends didn’t pan out. Oh well. 

Had Razed to The Ground dropped about fifteen years ago, it would be a wooly mammoth sized deal, but, unfortunately, a lot of the dudes who used to head walk and finger point at VOD shows across the country, are like dads and have 401K’s now. So, getting asses into clubs and record stores is a challenge. And when you’re dealing with the kids of today, all they understand is super slow breakdowns and ripping off Meshuggah, like they did a decade prior with At The Gates. 

Somehow, though, VOD falls within the cracks. Razed to The Ground is a fantastic metalcore record with lightning fast riffs and just enough fuck you that old dudes might consider punching one of their iPhone screens over. This is the record Vision of Disorder fans always wanted. 

Sonically, Razed To The Ground is like a baseball bat dipped in gasoline, covered in nails and then brought down directly on an unsuspecting skull. It’s like drinking a case of beer and pissing in an enemy’s wounds. It’s angry, sincere and pulls absolutely no punches. There’s little doubt this record deserves the acclaim of their earlier work. The classic VOD time signatures are there, as along with the bubbling hatred for mankind that marks every track. 

It’s a real shame VOD aren’t touring like they used to, but we should be so happy to get such a fantastic record that erases all pretext, and frankly fucking exists at all. The portrait of what VOD has become has scars, burns and bruises, but what’s left is tragic and beautiful at the same time. There’s little room for anything other than a hoisting of a beer in salute to the madness that is Vision of Disorder and from this fat, old dude – it feels great to say “Welcome back fellas. We’ve missed you.”


Razed to the Ground is available on iTunes and Amazon.

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