The Cursed Remain Cursed (Candlelight Records)
I’d like to take a moment to say that this is the first thing I’ve written, blog-wise, in a long time. Due to a combination of not being able to get up the will to write a post and juggling with other activities, I’ve relegated my typing skills to being a smartass on comment threads, writing a short story, and academia. All wastes of time, I’m sure, but I’m back, phoenix-like, to take care of business once more. And before I waste time on a manifesto detailing my departure and subsequent return in the fashion of a captivity narrative, here is the review I promised the Lord.
So, VISION OF DISORDER, a name that I know only due to the good folks at Activision making True Crime: New York City and including them on the soundtrack due to their origin being in Long Island, has been floating around in my consciousness for at least five years. I remember distinctly that I didn’t like the track included, nor did I think the name was all too divinely inspired, but hey, I was fifteen or so, and we all know that you don’t run to a fifteen year old to ask for musical wisdom. Now, where was I going with this? Ah, yes, VOD didn’t exactly strike a chord with me during those tender years where any game that allowed me to careen down a busy street, making waste of human and automobile alike, with rock’n’roll in the background, was a masterpiece of modern technology. Truth be told, had I not recognised the name, I’d have probably not bothered getting on board with this review in particular, but curiosity has killed many a cat, and here we are, listening to a band that has been a name since my birthyear of 1992.
Why am I not getting to the actual musical bit that album reviews normally focus on? I’m glad you asked, invisible people, because the music itself is almost not even worthy of being talked about. VOD have a rather erratic pattern of operation, having been active from 1992 to 2002, and then sporadically reforming and breaking up until 2008, when they finally got it together. Listening to The Cursed Remain Cursed, I cannot fairly make an inference as to how their other material sounds, but if it’s anything like this, I can hardly be surprised that they can’t hold steady for more than ten years. It’s Metalcore by numbers, taking bits from LAMB OF GOD in terms of the PTSD ex-Marine appeal, RINGWORM with its mixture of Metal and Hardcore sans the face-punching aggression, ALICE IN CHAINS worship in the clean vocals, uninspired “keep your chin up, life’s tuff, kid” lyrics, etc. etc.
I understand that perhaps VOD, like DEATH BY STEREO and SHADOWS FALL, may have been among those bands that were around when the tropes of modern Metalcore were created, and then ripped off by kids who had no idea what to do except copy their favorite artists and write breakdowns. Hell, they might have invented this sound before anyone else thought of it, and for all I know, could have been groundbreaking for their time. Though in an age of countless imitators and castrated ATREYU and ALL THAT REMAINS clones, what are VOD offering that’ll make anyone care that they’re back?
I normally do a track-by-track review, even for albums I don’t like, but golly, I’d be fain to name any stand-out tracks except for “Skullz Out(Rot In Pieces)”, and I’m really pained that I had to type that out, because just the title symbolizes everything wrong with the Metalcore scene taking its cues from later SUICIDAL TENDENCIES or LIMP BIZKIT instead of INTEGRITY. The only other track that comes even within a hair’s breadth of passable is “Blood Red Sun”, but maybe I’m just being nice to it because I like a couple of the chord arrangements. I rarely say this, but I’m craving breakdowns, and intend to audio inject a CARNIFEX album immediately after pressing “publish”. Christ on a bike, you know an album’s wearisomely long when you check to see if you’re on the fifth track and you’re only halfway through the second. Real savage. To say nothing of the album art with its drab lions’n’dragons crest. I guess you’re warriors or something.
Hire an orchestra and think out of the box, lads, because you’ve grown too big for it.