(Andy Synn reviews the first new album by Eighteen Visions since 2006.)
So here’s the thing… although I count myself among that rare breed of people who has faithfully (if not always happily) followed OC ‘core crew Eighteen Visions through all the ups and downs of their career, even I’m willing to admit that the band’s dissolution in 2007 – at the height of their perceived commercial viability and creative bankruptcy – was probably for the best.
For a band who had, up until that point, been famous as much for their devil-may-care attitude as they were for delivering bone-crushing breakdowns, their increasingly desperate attempts to break into the mainstream (and steady decline towards toothless, alt-rock senility), were a clear sign of a group increasingly unsure of their direction or place in the world and undergoing a painful (and ultimately fatal) mid-life crisis.
But it seems as though the group – whose line-up has been reduced to a three-piece following the sad demise of bassist Mick Morris in 2013, and the inability of guitarist (and founding member) Ken Floyd to participate due to other commitments – must have felt they had unfinished business left to attend to, as now they’re back with a new album, XVIII, which many (quite possibly including the band themselves) must be hoping will retcon their previous, self-titled, album out of existence.
So what’s the verdict?