Review: “Cycles//Aftermath” EP by Visionist

After their debut self titled EP used the skills of Arcaeon guitarist Sam Machin to record the vocals, Hampshire/Surrey Tech-Metal quintet Visionist shared stages with the likes of The Faceless, Uneven Structure, Destiny Potato, Holding Absence and Osiah to name but a few. Known for their haunting ambience and antpile crushing technical riffs, the band returned with a three track EP on 1st December. So while they’re planning their next release having opened Radar Festival in Guildford earlier this summer, we’re taking the opportunity to review “Cycles//Aftermath”.

A programmed introduction to “Cycles” leads into some ocilating riffs and the opening verse and some dark unclean vocals from Scot Swinsoe. Crossing over the Progressive Metalcore and Gloom subgenres there are guitar parts that could happily belong to Eric Bickerstaffe of Loathe as much as anyone else. That’s in part due to the tone of choice which rather than being a hot knife through butter is meat tenderising hammer striking concrete. The lyrics “I want to sleep without disturbance. Take day by day without temptation” are hard hitting and rather than being the self loathing of Void Of Vision, point towards needing to learn from one’s mistakes and the cycle of needing something to hold you up when you’re falling. “Aftermath” swings punches with first wave of Metalcore lead florishes while adding in DJent rythmic groves in fine style. Guitarist Matt Judd handled the mixing and it’s clear he had a good understanding of his bands sound with a fine balance struck between the levels. The clean vocal break and melodic break being dark ambient tones and swirling storm bringing chaos. Whether the lyrics are about the Aftermath of the self destructiveness of “Cycles” or about the destruction of the planet at the hands of humanity is open to interpretation but either way it’s another hard hitting message backed up by some equally heavy and clever music. “In Dreams” has some eerie haunting atmospheric guitar work behind some powerhouse Tech-Metal riffs with climbing polyrhythmic patterns in the lead tone giving a a light and shade contrast to the thick slabs of rhythmic chugs. Swincoe mixes up the vocals to give a menacing whisper before a gutteral roar which gives everything a wonderful ebb and flow. Please Visionist, can we have some more? [8/10]

Track listing

  1. Cycles
  2. Aftermath
  3. In Dreams

“Cycles//Aftermath” by Visionist is out now and available over at bandcamp.


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