Straight Up Rock n'Roll

Coming from the same place that produced the mighty Avenged Sevenfold and the brutal Bleeding Through, Orange County's Eighteen Visions have come along way from their humble beginnings with their debut album 'Until The Ink Runs Out'. The previous album 'Obsession' was the breakthrough album that fused the worlds of metalcore with stadium rock. This self titled album is the next step in this fashion-core band's progression into a mainstream sound hinted at in last couple of albums

With a gloomy album cover, the opening song 'Our Darkest Days' matches the vibe with an epic Motley Crue chorus intertwined with Depeche Mode. The stand out single 'Victim' is a high octane ass-kicker with a groove worthy of Pantera and catchy chorus in the vain of Def Leppard whilst having the cocky swagger of Guns N Roses.

Singer James Hart certainly seems to idolise former Stone Temple Pilots/ current Velvet Revolver singer Scott Weiland; this is certainly apparent in 'Black And Bruised' where the rock n roll vocals are juxtaposed against the brutal metalcore breakdown ending the song. This is almost reminiscent of Obsession - and fan - favourite 'Tower Of Snakes.' 'The Sweetest Memory' has a melodic intro and a rip-roaring chorus able to destroy many teenage bedrooms. Guitarists Ken Floyd and Keith Barney, both formally of hardcore band Throwdown, inject plenty of crushing riffs and melodic runs whilst rhythm section Mick Morris and Trevor 'Dark Baby' Friedrich keep a tight groove running throughout the album.

With songs titles like 'Your Nightmare' and 'Pretty Suicide' there is an almost gothic gloom to the album worthy of Joy Division or The Cure. This album makes the perfect soundtrack to a vampire film with its death n roll attitude. The album's closer, ballad 'Tonightless', has an acoustic guitar and piano-led, melodic edge and lyrics filled with despair. "Am I gonna be tonightless again?", "All of the loneliness has got to end."

Despite it being a rather solid rock record, fans of the band's older albums like 'Vanity' and 'The Best Of...' may slightly alienated with the flirtation with the mainstream. Nevertheless this album is straight up rock n roll, to the point and filled with pure raw energy.