Shake The Earth
30th May 2016 – Self-release
01. Wet Bandit
03. It’s Only A Time
04. Breaking Away
06. These Days
08. Shake The Earth
09. Artemus Clyde
Anyone familiar with Peterborian outfit Visions‘ first couple of records may do well to look up a reputable chiropractor in advance of listening to the group’s new album Shake The Earth – such is force of the double take they’ll do. Honestly; wow.
Last seen raising objections with the EP Demur, Visions made their modest name as purveyors of noodle-bending tech metal, slapping naked aggression against a wall of off-kilter riffs and spidery fret work – but after some years spent in a spiky, ugly little cocoon (Peterborough’s not that bad actually, honest), the group has emerged to spread a pair of majestic wings, resplendent with musical colour.
While the brazen metallic belligerence of earlier releases is not shorn from the menu completely – frontman Daniel Bareford roars a fair amount of his forthright, emotive lyrics; Karl Pickles’ fills, flourishes and thundering pace ensure that the technicality on which Visions built their name is never far away; and there are still plenty of chunky guitar and bass lines to furrow the brow – Shake The Earth positively groans with melody, leading a charge towards much lighter fare from the band.
Indeed, it’s this mix of elements that makes this record one of the most compelling, progressive, and technically astute yet profoundly accessible albums released on British shores in recent years. Sliding effortlessly between the two modes appears almost effortless: “Korma“‘s low-key opening gets swatted aside by a barrage of noise; “Shake The Earth” escalates from an absolutely divine clean guitar piece into a series of huge, gurn-eliciting head bangers. The light/dark dynamic is used sparingly like this as a device to build tension and release it satisfyingly, but the elements work well in tandem elsewhere too: “Breaking Away” – a a piece saved from Demur – jumps between and meshes the two; a lively, stabbing riff is interspersed with Bareford’s clean vocals, which are a real superlative highlight of an already feature-heavy album.
The closing tracks are perhaps the strongest; a statement that’s very hard to justify completely. Nevertheless, the dynamism of the trio closes a peerless album with gratifying grandiosity, tying together all of the elements and ramping it all up to new levels. In its closing gambit, this record ends out shockwaves of gargantuan proportions. Shake The Earth does exactly what its title promises: it’s a towering, ground-pounding piece of progressive post-hardcore, sprinkled with technicality, heart, intelligence, and huge fucking melodies. It’s absolutely sublime, and you need it in your life.