November 2, 2012 | , | 4.5

Vision of Disorder, The Cursed Remain Cursed

Vision of Disorder: The Cursed Remain Cursed

It’s been eleven years since these nearly invisible giants of 90’s metal/hardcore/metalcore last released a full-length record. That’s over a decade of wannabe bands leaching off of the nascent genre of which these Long Island natives were last at the forefront. As you can imagine, The Cursed Remain Cursed is an angry album to say the least. Vision of Disorder wasn’t ever really on my radar to tell you the truth — I was knee deep in Swedish death metal at the time of their peak — but this latest effort from the band has turned me into a huge fan. And it only took the first track to do so.

“Loveless” is one of the catchiest metal songs I’ve heard in a while. It’s the ultimate example of what VOD bring to the table with their latest long-player — a vicious combination of groove and heaviness. Throw in Ted Williams’ vocal delivery (he hits hardcore snarls, clean grungy choruses and even a little bit of Layne Staley for good measure) and you’ve got one hell of an album opener. Musically, the song is chock full of beefy riffage and head-banging groove.

In the mood for some bruised ribs? Check out “Blood Red Sun” and its layered dynamics, aggression and force as it bludgeons through over four minutes of piss-ed of metal. The group, however, is smart to include some solid melodies and groove into the burliness of the riffs to keep from pigeon-holing themselves. “Hard Times” is a thrashing monster of a song that will have necks snapping in record time with the staggered chugs and Williams’ barks. “Annihilator” keeps the aggression churning with pummeling drums and driving riffs. Man, we’re about half-way through the album at this point and the balance with which these guys deliver The Cursed Remain Cursed is damned impressive. Never leaning to one side (hardcore vs metal) at any one time, but sitting firmly and defiantly between the two genres, VOD showcase their mastery of both.

I’m not sure about the title of Skullz Out (or the spelling in particular), but it’s a dark track with a touch of malevolence. It’s a bit slower paced than previous songs but still incorporates plenty of melody and angst throughout. “The Enemy” is hugely up-tempo and sees Williams’ let loose with big screams and shouts, as well as a solid impression of Layne Staley — it’s a combination of vocal deliveries that fits perfectly with the churning, chunky riffs and thundering rhythms.

The scathing “The Seventh Circle” forgoes the melodies for the most part as it transitions to the raucous “New Order of Ages,” a song that is angry as hell. “Be Up On It” is a song with one hell of a catchy groove and a chorus that will have crowds at the band’s shows shouting along in no time. Album closer, “Heart and Soul,” starts off thrashing and pummeling before settling down a good bit to close out the album wonderfully.

The Cursed Remain Cursed is more than just a comeback album. It’s a proclamation that VOD were always kings of the metal/hardcore hybrid that they helped form so long ago. Balanced, heavy, destructive, melodic… all of these terms fit within the songs of this album more aptly than any album I’ve heard in a while that tries to incorporate them. Ted Williams has also cemented himself as one of the more versatile and charismatic vocalists of his generation.