(Israel Flanders reviews the new album from a band called Visitor (UK), and has arranged for some free downloads to boot. This is one of those Exceptions to the Rule embodied in the name of this site)
I think sometimes the number one ingredient to individuality is how a band combine things that already have been done — how they select and distribute existing elements within the music and piece them together into a cohesive product — instead of straining to be wholly original. Visitor is a band who have definitely succeeded with this formula, and I hope this review will get them some much-deserved exposure, I really do.
Visitor have a rather unique combination of sounds working in their favor. I’d describe it as a mix of the groove metal stylings of Machine Head, mid-period Napalm Death (think Inside The Torn Apart), and All That Remains. I don’t know how these guys make this mix of sounds work, but they make it work superbly, in a recognizable way. I would know Visitor immediately if I heard them, I can say that for certain; they have established their individuality.
The band has just recently put out their latest effort, titled The Need To Believe, and it kicks ass. I mean, it really kicks ass. The energy on the record is fantastic, and the music itself is well-written. The production is a bit rough, yes, but it’s refreshingly rough. Adding to the feel of Visitor, which is rather hard to describe in the first place, they generate a street vibe (in the same essential way as Machine Head did on their first album), but they’re bringing that vibe into a modern context. What they do doesn’t sound out of place in the present. As a matter of fact, I would go so far as to say it’s perfectly relevant and needed in the music of more bands here in the second decade of the 2000s. (more after the jump . . .)