Comeback albums aren’t easy to make. There are so many different ways it can go wrong yet, if it’s done right, then the payoff in the end is tremendous. 10 years ago following the misstep of their major label debut, Eighteen Visions called it quits. Everyone associated with the band went on to other bands and projects. For years fans had been wondering if they would ever see the Orange County hardcore band again. Every chance the press got to interview a former member, it seemed that it wasn’t in the cards. Now, I’m not sure what pushed them to get the ball rolling again, perhaps it was the passing of bass player Mick Morris a couple years back, or maybe it was even their desire to get back to what they did best. Either way, Eighteen Visions are back and with a vengeance.
Their first album in ten years, XVII, is 10 songs of pure unrelenting old school Eighteen Visions. This is the album they were meant to make. It harks back to their early days a la Until The Ink Runs Out and adds a dash of Vanity/Obsession. Singer James Hart sounds better than ever. Guitarist Keith Barney is still pumping out tasty riffs and dramatic breakdowns. And drummer Trevor Friedrich is pounding away on the drums with such fury.
From the moment the opening song “Crucified” hits, you know you’re in for quite the ride. As “The Disease, The Decline and Wasted Time” comes in, the album is already in full swing and it won’t let go. The song “Live Again” is a solemn tribute to the late Mick Morris, and it shows the real growth of each member in the band. Other stand out tracks from the album include “Oath,” “Laid To Waste In The Shit Of Man,” “Picture Perfect,” and the closing track “For This I Sacrifice.”
As a fan of the band for many years, this is the album I’ve been wanting them to make for years. It has the explosiveness of their very early days and it also has bits of melody sprinkled through some of the songs, to separate them from the rest of their peers. This isn’t just a comeback though, this is a reinvigorated band firing on all cylinders with something to prove to themselves. It shows in their dedication to make this album and go for it. On a side note, I have to say I’m really stoked on the fact that they made this album without crowdfunding. XVIII will go down as one of the band’s best albums. I can’t wait for them to tour this album.
Eighteen Visions- XVIII: