Eighteen Visions - Eighteen Visions (Cover Artwork)

Eighteen Visions

Eighteen Visions (2006)

Epic / Trustkill

Throughout the years, Eighteen Visions have progressed from one of the original metalcore bands to a radio-friendly rock band. While their cleaner side started to shine through on 2002's Vanity and 2004's Obession, their self-titled release nearly abandons their metalcore roots and trades it in for a straight rock sound. On Obsession, it worked at times, but didn't exactly blow the listener away. So the question with their latest release is, will they finally be able to capture their sound and produce an album that is better than the mediocrity they've put out in the past? While Eighteen Visions is an improvement, it is in no way the album that they're intending it to be.

"Our Darkest Days" is the opener and easily proves as a fine example of what to expect here: radio-friendly rock music that steals more from what you would hear on the classic rock channel than anything modern. "Victim" feels slightly misplaced as it follows with a rather traditional Eighteen Visions sound, but it's surprisngly catchy and proves that they can still write a few good 'core' songs here and there. "Truth or Consequence" may be one of the most disappointing tracks for Eighteen Visions fans, as the chorus feels like a carbon copy of "Vanity." Not only does the chorus sound extremly similar, but one of the lines is "when I was holding you, I thought I'd die," which is basically just a re-working of the line, "when you were holding my hand, I didn't think I die" from "Vanity."

The next few songs come and go, and then on "Broken Hearted," one of the worst aspects of the entire album shows up again. Throughout the album there are numerous times when they throw in some 'sing-along' vocals that are rather high-pitched and after hearing them once, literally want to make you throw up. At least they aren't as bad as the ridicioulous drum opening of "Pretty Suicide" or its horrible industrial rock vibe. And even "Coma" has an opening riff that somehow manages to rip off Three Days Grace. As if some of these songs weren't bad enough, on several of the good songs, vocalist James Hart manages to misuse his voice and completely ruin the song. The guy can impersonate Scott Weiland effortlessly and he does have a rather good singing voice, but he switches back and forth and never seems to balance it out and get it right. However, on the album closing "Tonightless," Hart does get it together and Eighteen Visions managed to craft one of their best songs of all time.

Eighteen Visions stated that they were going for the all out, 'big' rock sound on this album. While the band is musically adept and have a fine vocalist, they can't make it all come together. Since this is their first release with two guitarists, they still might have another chance to turn it around with time, but for now, Eighteen Visions is a slightly enjoyable, but completely disposable rock album that provides few summer thrills.