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Album Review: XVIII by Eighteen Visions

Eighteen Visions return with their new album XVIII, released on 2nd June via Rise Records. XVIII, the reunited and reenergised band’s first new album in over a decade, is both mission statement and battle cry. It’s a blistering, dense, and diverse album. Recharged and newly partnered with Rise Records, 18V sound liberated from the expectations of the outside world and driven only by their own personal and artistic directive.

This is the album promised by the raw alchemy of every other Eighteen Visions record. The unrelenting force and unashamed ambition that fuelled every stylistic incarnation of this always evolving and never boring band: it’s finally fully realized in the sound of XVIII.

Without 18V there wouldn’t be metalcore. They paved the way for a torrent of bands that, quite frankly, never came close to them. XVIII strengthens that view and blows them all out of the water. Crushing and uncompromising yet instantaneous and infectious without sounding laboured or affected. Essentially exactly where every modern metalcore band fails. Among the album’s many highlights is ‘Live Again’ a moving tribute to bassist Mick Morris, who passed in 2013, ‘Picture Perfect’ a super heavy, dirgy assault on fakery and wolves in sheep’s clothing, dripping with menacing melody and ‘Fake Leather Jacket’ a Molotov cocktail tossed at the music industry, threatening and staunchly confident.

Not only does XVIII stand up well against former masterpiece Obsession, it goes one step further in sounding fresh and relevant to 2017. Where Obsession is an album that has its merits, it was of its age. 18V haven’t reformed and reverted to normal, this is fresh and invigorated with even more balls and grit than before. That’s not to say you won’t recognise it as 18V, they retain their distinctive vocal and traits for a big sing-along offset with big crunching guitars.

While XVIII is a formidable and excellent album, it’s not going to save metalcore. It’s a very bright light in amongst a dearth of genuine talent. It takes metalcore back to its roots and shows today’s acts how it should be done. You won’t hear a more likeable or immediate album of it’s like this year.

AD Rating 8/10

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