Vision of Disorder
The Cursed Remain Cursed
17 September 2012
by Tom Dare
Oh look. Another reunited band from the 1990s. The difference with this one is that Vision of Disorder have been back for a few years now, their popularity hasn’t had a mysterious retrospective inflation (they’re playing the 500-capacity Underworld in London, Refused played the 2500-capacity Forum) and aren’t one of those bands all of their successors in the hardcore scene name-check in every interview, despite how influential they’ve actually been. Which is daft, because VoD were fucking great first time around, and they’ve come back with an arse-booting record.
The Cursed Remain Cursed is one of those clever albums that manages to sound as pissed off as anyone without necessarily needing to resort to the most extreme cosmetics. There’s plenty of stomping New York hardcore riffage – opener ‘Loveless‘ kicks off in prime fashion, ‘Hard Times‘ switches venomously between this and crossover chug – and it’s all furious blood (yours), sweat (theirs) and tears (your neighbours/flatmates/parents/anyone in earshot). But the venom’s achieved through strong songwriting and the commitment of the performances, rather than needing to shout the loudest, play the fastest or distort to unintelligibility.
This lends The Cursed Remain Cursed a sense of immediacy. Vision of Disorder take mere seconds to sync your brain into what they’re doing and get you feeling like you can flatten everything in the world you’re hacked off with. The rumbling, grinding bass and brazen guitar mix with the vocals – whether the vitriolic shouting or the pissed-off-Alice-In-Chains clean singing – to ramp up your angst to exactly where VoD want it (furniture-breaking sort of level), and then keep you there for forty minutes.
The really smart bit is that VoD are still much more interesting than your average, run-of-the-mill bruisers. There are still those odd little bits – unexpected, inventive little asides, such as the awkward little lead touches of ‘New Order Of Ages‘ and the break into almost death metal brutality in ‘The Seventh Circle‘ – that you might not initially spot consciously, but tell your brain there’s something a bit more going on here than you’ve noticed so far. It’s this unpredictability that keeps your pulse and blood pressure up throughout, and makes you want to return after you’ve been hooked by all the vocal melodies and sprained your neck to the fast bits.
Watch the video for ‘Set To Fail’ by Vision of Disorder:
You can micro-analyse exactly why The Cursed Remain Cursed is so effective at making you want to put your fists through something to leave you sitting in a fracture clinic looking sheepish, but all that really matters is that it does, and will keep doing so beyond the initial blast. It might have taken them eleven years between albums four and five, but the results are strong enough to forgive all that. And put your back out.
Sounds like: Biohazard, Cro-Mags, Madball.
Stand-out tracks: Blood Red Sun, Annihilator, Be Up On It.