|Review: Vision Master - Sceptre|
Label: Gates of Hell Records
Year released: 2023
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: July 11, 2023
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Rated 3.5/5 (70%) (4 Votes)
Featuring a couple of guys formerly of Funerot, Vision Master is their homage to weird, wild heavy metal from the '80s when strange things were tried and sometimes surprisingly worked well. Their debut album is called Sceptre and, I'll be honest, it was a grower for me. It really didn't click on the first couple of spins, leaving me scratching my head, but then things started to make more sense. The base of traditional heavy metal is amped up with thrashy riffing, twisted around by punk energy, and taken in tangents with abandon. The vocals are what I can only describe as "off-kilter," careening around seemingly regardless of the songs' melodies, but in actuality are well suited to them. The band lists quite a few influences but the one that jumps out at me is Voïvod, particularly albums like Nothingface and more recently Synchro Anarchy. Songs like "Wolves in the Shadows" and "Knife in a Velvet Glove" are chaotic and directionless until you realize they aren't. They just take you on a ride where you can't always see around the next corner until you've actually turned it. The other influence, mainly in the lyrics but also in the evil, doomy vibe of songs like "Beyond," is Mercyful Fate. Fans that don't like Voïvod (or bands such as Slough Feg and Brocas Helm, other influences the band lists) may not be the target audience, but if you're ready for something different that still has its grounding in metal that is familiar, this is one to check out, but be prepared to give it multiple spins because there's a lot going on.
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