VISION OF DISORDER


"From Bliss to Devastation" (TVT Records; 2001)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

The hardcore version of Vision Of Disorder you know and love has ceased to exist. Even the metalcore version of Vision Of Disorder is no longer carving its path through the musical din. But this isn't one of those times to lament a band that has changed, but rather a time to celebrate a band that has reinvented itself during a self-imposed return to the underground.

Vision Of Disorder was one of the few bands to impress me during the first full-touring version of OzzFest back in '97. I thought the combination of metal riffing, hardcore approach, and obvious skills of the musicians was one of the freshest things I'd heard in years. Prior to "From Bliss To Devastation" Vision Of Disorder were simply content to lash out at the world around them with razor sharp riffing, scathing vocals, and primal anger. Now Vision Of Disorder have brought a more varied emotional weight to their music - and the results are fantastic.

With "From Bliss To Devastation" Vision Of Disorder have taken on a new view of the world with not so rose-colored glasses; not cynical mind you, but the reality of the world has forced Vision Of Disorder into the stark realization that the world is not a pretty place. The movement away from riffing intended to bludgeon to songs that elicit pure moods induces the band's material into shards of upheaval without the abrasive aftereffects.

The raging Vision Of Disorder of old rarely makes its appearance in a few places most notably at the end of "Downtime Misery." But fear not, the tempered aggression of Vision Of Disorder may be a bit slower (and, some might say, more groove oriented - but the word groove has lost its meaning in metal circles these last few years) but it is more refined and discernible.

Tim Williams often sounds like a possessed Chris Cornell with the cathartic wail that he exhibited on previous CDs still intact. Brendon Cohen's drumming is still amazing and powerful. The sonic attack of bassist Michael Flieschmann and the six-string duo of Michael Kennedy and Matthew Baumbach remains as inventive as ever.

"From Bliss To Devastation" is one of the more satisfying releases I've heard in a long time. 

"From Bliss To Devastation" was produced and mixed by Machine. 

Vision Of Disorder is Tim Williams on vocals, Brendon Cohen on drums, Michael Fleischmann on bass, and Michael Kennedy and Matt Baumbach on guitars.

For more information on Vision of Disorder check out http://www.tvtrecords.com/artists/?art_id=239


"For The Bleeders" (Go Kart Records/Compound; 1999)visionofdisorder.jpg (19135 bytes)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter



As a treat for their fans before their next full-length disc is offered Vision Of Disorder have re-recorded previously released demos and unreleased demos as well as a few new tracks. "For The Bleeders" strips the metal riffing from the hardcore foundation. Don't worry, though, Vision Of Disorder are still concocting tight riffs for their songs; this time, however, the riffs tend to avoid the heavy metal shards previously incorporated on their first two full-length discs for a more simple approach. The chaotic flood of energy is also reined in a bit; that doesn't mean the songs are lame, it just means the band has focused its emotional power in much shorter blasts.

The re-recorded unreleased demo songs are "7/13," "Formula For Failure," and "Take Them Out." "7/13" is a vibrant plunge into melodic heaviness. "Formula For Failure" is a distinctive tune that makes me wonder why this song hasn't seen the light of day except for live performances until now. "Take Them Out" is strict hardcore fierceness.

From the demo "Still" the songs "Choke," "Beneath The Green," and "Watch Out" make their re-recorded appearance. "No Regret" also appeared in the re-recorded versions on the "Still" demo. "Choke," which leads of the disc, is a megaton explosion. "No Regret" isn't impressive or disappointing - it just doesn't reach out and grab me. "Watch Out" is a caustic and blistering track while "Beneath The Green" is probably my favorite song on the disc as it wraps itself around your brain like a snake's constrictive coil.

The other four songs stray away from the formula of the demos; these four tracks also demonstrate the band's growing maturity. "Adelaide" is a step forward for the band as they begin to incorporate subdued sections between the verses and choruses. "For The Bleeders" shows the band gaining a greater sense of deceleration without hindering their aggressive impact; with this song the band is creating their own voice that marries the hardcore world with a more ethereal sound of drawn out guitar. Most impressive, however, is "In The Room" which is a track for the soundtrack for the motion picture "Terror Firma"; "In The Room" most resembles the material found on VOD's sophomore release "Imprint."

Vision Of Disorder are the perfect antidote to the West Coast sound. Let Vision Of Disorder's manic hardcore and heavy metal hybrid treat you to a new auditory experience. I consider Vision Of Disorder to be a band that stands alone, but others have compared the band to Madball, Earth Crisis, and Sick Of It All.

Vision of Disorder is Tim Williams (vocals), Matt Baumbach (guitar), Mike Kennedy (guitar), Mike Fleischmann (bass), and Brendon Cohen (drums). Tim Williams' voice is maturing and is better heard in the mix this time around. It's my impression that most of the demos were originally recorded without bass, which allows Fleischmann's bass to really round out the band's sound with the additional low end. Brendon Cohen, without a doubt, is as good a drummer that you'll find today.

"For The Bleeders" was produced by Tim Gilles and engineered by Jay Kanter and Mike Ward.

For more information on Vision of Disorder check out http://www.tvtrecords.com/artists/?art_id=239


"Imprint" (Roadrunner Records; 1998)vodimp.jpg (12323 bytes)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter



Straight from the shores of Long Island, Vision Of Disorder bring a punk and hardcore mentality to their hybrid metal riffing. "Imprint" builds upon the initial success of their debut album with huge leaps in emotion, technical playing, and, most importantly, their songwriting. The best thing about Vision Of Disorder is their cliché-free riffs and complete avoidance of the West Coast sound. Socially aware lyrics and seeing the self as the primary pillar of strength are two additional facets that make Vision of Disorder a breath of fresh air.

Most song clock in under 4 minutes so you aren't bludgeoned with the same riffs over and over again. It doesn't matter because the schizoid shifts and breaks make each song twist and turn in unique fashion time and time again. Even when the songs get a little longer (at least by VOD's standards) VOD craft interesting breaks and melodic interludes to add to the depth of the song's reach. The best tracks are "What You Are," "Colorblind," and "Up In You" which offers a stern warning to those who might try and bullshit their way through life.

In addition, Pantera's Phil Anselmo has a duet with Tim Williams on "By The River" in which Williams holds his own against the vocal veteran.

Tim Williams heads up the band with his vocals which characterize the band's fury. Dual guitarists Mike Kennedy and Matt Baumbach play with and against each other giving each song a push and pull as needed. Mike Fleischman competently plays the bass and Brendan Cohen has the most amazing drumming this side of the Mississippi River.

"Imprint" was produced and mixed by D. Sardy who has previously worked with Red Hot Chili Peppers, Helmet, and his own band Barkmarket.

Although the growing maturity of the youngsters in Vision Of Disorder is partially responsible for the great improvement in "Imprint," D. Sardy can take most of the credit for pushing Vision Of Disorder to new heights.

For more information on Vision of Disorder check out http://www.tvtrecords.com/artists/?art_id=239


Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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Copyright © 2004 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 08 Jan 2016 11:33:09 -0500 .