AN NCS ALBUM PREMIERE (AND A REVIEW): VISION DEPRIVED — “SELF ELEVATING, DEEP INSIDE THE VOID”
In a search for analogies it’s tempting to compare Milan-based Vision Deprived‘s new album to a musical roller-coaster ride. It’s packed with twists and turns, ups and downs; it gets the adrenaline flowing; it frequently pops our eyes wide open; and it’s scary. But it’s not the kind of trip that’s likely to leave riders laughing it off when it’s time to dismount, and the twists are… twisted… in ways that can become unsettling because they’re so unhinged. You can hear and feel the rails under a roller-coaster car, but what would happen if that sense of being attached were to vanish?
Self Elevating, Deep Inside The Void is the album’s name, and even the title suggests leaving the rails and any other tangible boundaries, which is pretty much what happens as you make your way through the record. What you might not expect from the title is that the music is usually firestorm-fast and decimating, as well as completely dazzling in its madhouse instrumental escapades through a dystopian hellscape.
Every album must begin somewhere, and this one begins with the hulking death metal brutishness of “Massacre Of The Truth“, wherein we’re introduced to percussive spinal trauma, hammer-life riffage, and macabre vocal foulness, but also to guitars that weave woozy and wailing paths, and also participate in outbursts of braying and battering lunacy. And thus the twisted twists and turns, and the barely contained mayhem, become evident from the start.
“Deeper” sort of reverses the contortions, beginning in a fury of hyper-blasting drumwork, superheated fretwork that creates a roiling and blazing audio cauldron, and horrid growls and horrific screams. It reaches heights of searing madness that take the breath away… and then it staggers, stomps, and squeals… but convulses again at the end.
From there, “Pledge Allegiance” stays in the berserker lane at first, and then brings in sizzling and weirdly wandering guitars that channel menace and misery, just a brief contortion before the music begins careening off the rails again. Back and forth it goes, both sinister and savage, and yes, scary.
“Overturning Events” is a marauder too, but splices in some punkish chords and beats, some episodes of utter bleakness, and some thuggish jackhammering, in the midst of the hammering drums and blizzard-like fretwork.
By now you’ll have realized that when Vision Deprived are firing on all cylinders (which is most of the time) they’re showing top-shelf technical talent, almost like finely tooled, well-oiled machine parts, except this machine is maniacal. But hell, you might not expect the funky, head-hooking grooves that greet the ears in “Realm Of Void” or that song’s brazen fanfare blasts or weird fretwork pulsations, though it’s less of a surprise that menace and madness reign there too.
There aren’t many moments in the album when listeners can catch their breaths or slow their minds from spinning, even though the moods tend to change as rapidly as the tempos and the instrumental patterns. There are certainly plenty of times when headbangers can get their groove on, but usually you’ve got to work your neck fast to keep up. Most of the rest of the time, the music is whipping you around like a high-speed centrifuge or sending you racing on the back of some devil-steed that won’t mind the reins.
Let’s re-emphasize: The vocals are relentlessly insane. The drumming is lights-out. The guitarists pack more rapidly mutating riffs and dissonant oddball arpeggios into these compact tracks than the minutes seem capable of holding. The bassist is fast too, but shines in a clanging and rumbling solo in “Beyond Myself” that’s part of what makes that song bring some big smiles. And perhaps paradoxically for such off-the-wall adventures, Vision Deprived are damned good at working in hooks and ear-worms, right up through the piston-pumping finale of the closer “Randomly Somewhere”.
Well, that’s probably more than enough verbiage by way of introduction to the album, which we’re streaming in full below in advance of its March 28 release. But if you’re still looking for a more compact and perhaps relatable description, we can drop references to a mashup of old-school NY-style death metal, grindcore, and death/thrash, plus name-drops to the likes of Incantation, Immolation, early Cannibal Corpse, Mortician, Terrorizer, Infester, Profanatica, Absu, Rottrevore, and Autopsy.
Who are these maniacs? Well, we’re told that the band was born from a collaboration between drummer Carlo Altobelli (who’s the producer and sound engineer at the Toxic Basement Studio (Cripple Bastards, Insanity Alert, Black Oath, Raw Power, Ekpyrosis, and more) and bassist Aldo (Cain, Bang Bangalow), later joined by Elias (End) on guitar and Alberto (Forged In Blood, Ephyra) on vocals.
All the songs were written and composed by Vision Deprived. The album was produced by Carlo Altobelli, and recorded, mixed, and mastered by him at Toxic Basement Studio. The artwork was created by Francesca Vecchio. For more info about the release and how to acquire it, visit the locations linked below:
this stuff rules!! but why am i the only little icon on their BC page? 🙁