Review: “Inferno” by Eighteen Visions

Shrouded in mystery, Eighteen Visions have released their first new material since their 2017 Rise Records comeback album ‘XVIII’. A self release and a concept record inspired by Italian poet Dante Alighieri‘s 14th century masterwork The Divine Comedy, it has surfaced without fanfare; the only inkling of its appearance prior to it’s release being a soundcloud stream of “Sink” a month beforehand with the line “We wanted a concept that would artistically fit the vibe of the music we were writing. Dark, punishing, and hateful.” At the time of writing, it’s unclear as to who was involved with the creation of “Inferno” and specifically whether former Evergreen Terrace and current Stick To Your Guns guitarist Josh James had any input. We know that vocalist James Hart, drummer Trevor Friedrich and multi instrumentalist Keith Barney (guitars, bass keyboards, piano, programming, backing vocals) are essentially the core of the group and that the band was announced as one of the performers for Furnace Fest 2020 before it was postponed…

…so we have six new tracks with a run time of 17 minutes and cover art with a distinctly Black Metal vibe to it, a concept record based on a work that has inspired numerous other bands ranging from Sepultura to Cradle of Filth and from the opening battery of “Sink“, the Orange County Metalcore act have gone in hard. Friedrich hammers out artillery blasts of percussive work, including blast beats while the guitars chug breakdown after breakdown and of course Hart’s vocals are as ripping as they were on 2002’s “Vanity“. It’s an eye opening continuation of where the band left off in 2017 that continues into “The Wicked“, which impresses with a couple of whispered drop outs over bass lines that rise to throat shredding screams within seconds. A tale of debauchery “Thirty One” tells the story of a tatted female reaching for sex under the influence of morphine with the kind of brutal sleaze hardcore punch that the band have previously delivered and proves that not only have they not aged but they are still more than capable of being the band fans know and love. The hunger and desire is still in their collective souls and former bassist Mick “MickDeth” Morris who passed away tragically in 2013 would be proud. “Bleed The Sheep” is a savage blend with slab after slab of staccato riffage and Hart venting during the mid tempo chugs, one which will go down well live with a solid sense of groove rising to the surface at the tail end. As you would expect from an Eighteen Visions record, there are plenty of short sharp samples that inject something else and by the time “The Void” hits, it’s pretty clear that “Inferno” is classic record from the band. Its rapid fire salvos of high energy rhythmic battery are made all the more skull crushing by Hart’s cutting vocals, as ever phrased with short sentences or two or three word bursts. Closing the chapter with “The Perils of Sin” is an interesting move as it sees the band in “Obsession” territory with some beautiful melodies and interspliced between the heavier parts in a quiet-quiet-loud fashion that raises the hair on the back of your neck in jaw dropping fashion. Let’s hope they’re here to stay because we love them [8.5/10]

Track listing

  1. Sink
  2. The Wicked
  3. Thirty One
  4. Bleed the Sheep
  5. The Void
  6. The Perils of Sin

Inferno” by Eighteen Visions is out now

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