Underworld, London, UK - 21/5
The Vision Ablaze
Reach For The Stars EP
Written by: PP on 25/10/2012 20:14:12
Normally we stick by our rule of not reviewing EPs containing only three songs or less, simply because they offer no credible evidence as to whether a band is worth it in the long run or not. After all, most bands can write one or two good songs but then end up writing uninteresting filler for the rest of the album. But I've decided to make an exception with The Vision Ablaze from Copenhagen, Denmark, because their three-track sophomore EP "Reach For The Stars" is a radical improvement in every department over their interesting but lacklustre debut "Nova" EP. And at 13 minutes, its longer than some punk albums I review, so there you go.
For anyone not familiar with the previous EP, the band mixed together standard Killswitch Engage style metalcore with hard rock and nu-metal melodies. Here, on "Reach For The Stars EP", they've narrowed their focus and dropped the hard rock elements almost entirely, now presenting a sound that's not really metalcore but not really nu-metal either, but somewhere right in between. It helps to make their songs coherent, but more importantly, it makes their songs inherently more interesting, especially because both the musicianship as well as the songwriting have taken leaps and bounds forward in quality. A song like "Ascension" is the perfect example, featuring a mouth-watering clean chorus that sticks to memory instantly, even if it does smell a little bit like something Disturbed has used during the nu-metal years. That is, if Greg Puciato was the vocalist for Disturbed, because this guy has uncanny resemblance to him especially during the clean vocal sections. The rest of the song balances on a tightrope between metal and metalcore, even bringing in some low-level growling during a more technical riff passage, leading nicely into the chorus.
"Smell Of Guilt" has an equally good chorus, underlining that The Vision Blaze have indeed taken many steps forward from their debut. One mega catchy chorus can be amateurs accidentally hitting a gold mine, but two, or more accurately three as it is on this EP, is a tell-tale sign of a band with high potential. Because even if "Born Blind" is a little more generic with the aggressive growling during its verses and thrashier instrumentation, the chorus melody is great and memorable straight away. I hear the dudes are writing a full length album as we speak. These songs suggest that we'll have a formidable candidate for one of the better Danish releases next year - but we'll have to wait with final judgment until we hear more songs. In any case, this is much, much better than the previous EP.
Download: Ascension, Smell Of Guilt
For the fans of: Disturbed, Diamond Drive, Killswitch Engage