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Review: Visions of Dystopia - A Nightmare on Dystopian Street
Visions of Dystopia
A Nightmare on Dystopian Street

Label: M & O Music
Year released: 2021
Duration: 31:09
Tracks: 8
Genre: Progressive Metal


Review online: April 5, 2021
Reviewed by: Christian Renner
Readers' Rating
How do you rate this release?

Rated 3.5/5 (70%) (6 Votes)

You have a few preconceived notions whenever you go into listening to an album for which you already have the genre defined. Where Progressive Metal is concerned, it is usually very instrument focused with the mood being light and airy. Never overly serious, and guitar and keyboard leads really being showcased. That being said, that is not what Visions of Dystopia are doing here.

Visions of Dystopia are multi-instrumentalists from France that label themselves more as composers than they do as a guitarist or bass player, which makes sense as they also do soundtrack music for films as well. This album tries to focus on the atmospheric elements from horror movies while centering on the villains in those movies and roll all that into the framework of Progressive Metal. It's definitely an ambitious idea and one I have never run across before, but does it work? I think I come down squarely on "sometimes". I know that's really non-committal, but neither is this album. There are no vocals per se but spoken narration here and there through the songs. So, this is basically just an instrumental album. The music I really dig as it much heavier than I was expecting and there are some really nice riffs and leads throughout the tracks that actually come across as songs. There are a few tracks that come across as soundscapes, however. "From the Depths of Hell" is the first in that category. Throughout the track it constantly feels like it is leading to something big but then just ends. "The Devil Inside" and "Till the End" follow this as well. All three sound like they could be VERY cool songs, but Visions of Dystopia are choosing to make them more of a feeling than a song. So that brings me back around to my noncommittal stance on this. I would absolutely love to hear this with vocals and the songs more fleshed out as there are some really great ideas here. Honestly though, I don't think that is where these guys were going with this. I think these are a couple of guys that love metal music and doing musical scores and were trying to combine the two. Unfortunately for me, it doesn't really work. I certainly see the talent in this and can appreciate the difficulty in pulling this off. Kudos for these guys taking a swing this big.

Overall, this is certainly worth a listen and if you are a fan of listening to movie scores, this may very well be a big hit for you. Looking at it as a simple metal album, it falls short. I will go on record, however, and say if they ever go full-band mode with this and put vocals to their music, I would be 100% in on checking it out.

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