Ever since their inception in the early 90’s, Long Island residents Vision of Disorder have always carried an air of perennial underachievement, forever destined to be the nearly men of metal. Two well received records put out by the then still commanding Roadrunner Records when nu-metal was in full swing enabled the band to evolve from their NYHC background into an outfit ready to take on the world with their infectious groove metal anthems. Unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be, as their fledgling success was eclipsed by the backwards cap of Fred Durst and his ilk, causing the band to split in 2002. However, a decade on hiatus has revitalised VoD like no one could possibly anticipate, with their new album “The Cursed Remain Cursed” a sure shot to be crowned comeback album of the year.
Opening track ‘Loveless’ charges from the starting blocks with teeth bared and fists swinging, as its snaking Lamb of God style verses and positively charged chorus leave no one in doubt that VoD are eager to make up for lost time and show the new kids on the block that they mean business. ‘Set to Fail’ switches between grating slabs of sheet metal noise and circle-pit inducing chugs that are impossible not to take notice of. Vocalist Tim Williams sounds furious with being away for so long but also eager to prove that his voice has lost none of its hard-edged melodic bite as demonstrated by the range he displays in the coruscating ‘Blood Red Sun.’ The Biohazard bounce of ‘Hard Times’ serves as a reminder that VoD haven’t neglected their roots, yet are still able to sound thrillingly relevant all these years later.
The aptly named ‘Annihilator’ destroys all in its wake, harking back to the infamous aggression of the self-titled debut as Williams screams his fury at the so-called American dream. ‘Skullz Out’ (Rot in Pieces) places more emphasis on mood and atmosphere before deciding to rock out in Every Time I Die fashion while the tightly-coiled riffs of ‘The Enemy’ spring out with joyous abandon, proving that technical precision and decent, well written songs don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Those hankering for the de-tuned ferocity of Bloodsimple, Williams’ post VoD outfit get their fix in ‘The Seventh Circle’ and ‘New Order of Ages’ while the bombardment of ‘Be Up On It’ maintains the intensity until the driving riffing of ‘Heart and Soul’ is let down by a slightly insipid chorus, but brief lapses of this sort are forgivable considering the quality shown beforehand.
Terrific throughout, “The Cursed Remain Cursed” firmly re-establishes Vision of Disorder’s place in the world of metal and just goes to show how some time off can utterly regenerate a band. This could have turned out so badly given how barely a week seems to pass without another ‘legendary’ band reforming with their minds on their mortgages rather than their music, but these guys aren’t one of them. Welcome back!