Published Nov 18, 2015After disbanding in 2001 and reuniting in 2008, early hardcore pioneers Vision of Disorder seem to be managing something unusual: a respectably, moderately successful comeback. When bands write and release new music after an extended period of inactivity, it tends to be either heralded as a triumphant return or decried as a spectacular failure; it feels much more rare to have a release that is simply, solidly good.
But such is the case with Razed to the Ground, Vision of Disorder's second release for Candlelight since reforming, following 2012's The Cursed Remain Cursed. Both that release and Razed to the Ground indicate that Vision of Disorder definitely evolved during their extended period of inactivity, like any creature cocooned and dormant; when they re-emerged, their sound was grittier and groovier, evoking a more technical and grimier Lamb of God. They also picked up a bit of a case of nu-metal somewhere along the process, which serves them less well.
Where Razed to the Ground succeeds the most is when they are at their most hardcore and hell-bent, particularly the title track, which is delightfully chaotic and features a great, grinding chorus. The near battle metal of "Nightcrawler" is also deeply satisfying — especially the martial drums. Tracks like "Cut My Teeth" and "Red To The Walls," however, evoke nu-metal in a way that seems particularly dated, whereas their older hardcore roots feel more fresh.
Despite these missteps, Razed to the Ground is nonetheless a fun, ferocious record, and shows this old dog still has plenty of fight in it yet. (Candlelight)