Much like the new Terror record, I find myself being stumped once again by the lack of chatter about a new Vision Of Disorder record. I get it, VOD has let us down in the past with From Bliss To Devastation, and although it was generally well received, their last outing, The Curse Remain Cursed, had enough groan worthy parts, but VOD was always one of those bands that got buzz whenever they put something out. Negative or positive, people still clamor for a return to the days of the self-titled and Imprint and foam at the mouth either to accept or tear anything new to shreds. Well, here we are with the bands 6th release, Razed To The Ground, and I feel like it’s not getting any of the attention that it normally would have.

With that being said, I have long since moved on from the notion that VOD is ever going to “return to form” and put out a sequel to the self-titled record. While I love it and easily throw it in the top 10 of metalcore records, it’s a very dated sound. If the band didn’t exist in the 90’s and tried to release that record today, I’d hate it. We love it for nostalgia purposes and the pandemonium that came with the live shows of those days. As a matter of fact, the only record of theirs prior to their initial breakup in 2002, is 1998’s Imprint. It was basically equal parts their earlier work with GSTK era Pantera for a combination that still being used today and essentially that is almost exactly what VOD went back to for their newest release. To say that Razed To The Ground is “riff heavy” would be an understatement. A lot of that NYC groove/southern rock blend is on full display. Songs like Heart Of Darkness and Electric Sky, specifically the latter, are some of the heaviest songs that the band has ever written. Unfortunately though, there is some lasting hangover from the From Bliss To Devastation era as well. Lots of pseudo grunge and post-metal melody rear their ugly head and result in parts, and entire songs for that matter, that aren’t too far away from anything played on top 40 rock stations. There is definitely talent in these parts and songs but they take away from the bite of everything positive the album has going for it. There is also the fact that it’s not nearly as raw as Imprint. I mean, I understand, you want to sound the best you can and most bands aren’t out to simply recreate something they did many moons ago, but that rawness of Imprint complemented the attitude of that record perfectly. Some of the tracks on this record could have really benefited from that type of production.

Overall we have a half decent record. There are definitely tracks that I won’t mind seeing live but there are a few tracks that I will never listen to ever again. That seems to be the best we’re going to get out of VOD in 2015. In many ways it’s a continuation of the new vs old style blend that The Curse Remained Cursed brought to the table but with much more borrowing from the Imprint days. VOD still keeps it interesting enough to warrant at least a chance on this record but I would say don’t expect too much.