Ill Vision ‘Rise of the Underground’ CD Launch, Rocket Room, Perth – 5 December 2008
Ill Vision, Supported by Sins Of The Father, The Furor, and Pyromesh
Review by Teeman, Photography by Dan Laidlow
Firstly, let me start by stating that due to resolving issues regarding sleep deprivation, hygiene and hunger, I was unable to see Sins of the Father. This pissed me off to no end when Daz idly told me they’ve had a new vocalist for some time, whom I’ve obviously missed half a dozen times the past few months. Next time fellas, next time…
After satisfying the last of the demands that ravaged my body (well, satisfy is probably too strong a word. Choking down a kebab while stone-sober is like saying surgery is a satisfying way to cure cancer), I entered the Rocket Room and was greeted by a thrust to the ears by the vicious sounds of Louis. I’m sure the rest of the band were on-stage too, during their first few songs, but with the lighting giving him an eerie, incandescent green glow akin to a ghoul, his screams fitting the torment that amount of radiation must wrack upon the body and his drumming taking the lion-share of the soundwaves heading my direction, I can be forgiven in thinking that he is the putrid soul of this band; The Furor.
As the set progressed, I started to question what I’ve known, or assumed, about The Furor all these years. To be stamped a Black Metal band seems to miss what they’re aiming to achieve. After thinking through their set an awful lot, likely too much with tap beer centimetres away, the fundamental themes of Black Metal aren’t what I find interesting about this band.
At full-speed you feel lost in a sea of intensity and distortion, with songs being difficult to translate. But whenever the tempo was drawn down, if sometimes too abruptly and infrequently, the guitar and bass work begun to craft a desolate landscape with almost a sludge/drone tone to drag you down into areas of ominous themes hinted to in their songs, otherwise forgotten in a pursuit of speed. These parts were incredibly interesting, with their final song my highlight, and I hope they focus on them in future projects.
The next band had certainly changed their musical fundamentals recently. Metamorphosing from historically rich, anger-themed metal to a bass-focused 4-piece jive band, Pyromesh were out to rattle some cages. To my relief (or disappointment, depending on seriously I believed such a polar-shift was real), technical issues were corrected after a song or two and the set begun.
The odd changes of rhythm started to grate me early on, and never really ceased. From where I was, nursing surprisingly expensive ale, the delineated sound that I was enjoying for periods was too often broken up with plodding, unfocused sections that added little to the premise of their songs and I found myself listless waiting for these to pass. Their onstage energy, primarily their vocalist, Ael, was what I found more engaging with their performance. And like it or not, Killswitch Engage vocal comparisons are going to be levelled.
I’m not sure what I see in the future of Pyromesh as I ultimately see the band suffering for their sporadic lack of direction. Perhaps their new drummer will bring greater cohesion to new songs. I guess we’ll see.
The night, in case you were unaware, was to celebrate and ring in the new CD from the infamous band, Ill Vision; a band I’ve recognized as synonymous with real, severe urgency. Their rapid cadences took hold from the first song with clever changes from raspy thrash to a death-march like tempos, which largely harmonized with Joe’s hoarse, immediate vocal style. I wish this was the case for all of their set, but as it progressed, the ferocity that made the initial songs so memorable and entertaining started to steadily and noticeable fade.
The guitar-work was very impressive however, never appearing lost or confused with the inclusion of solos. I’ve never found them appropriate to be at the forefront with bands of this nature, so their inclusion and purpose was a refreshing sight to behold.
Overall, I saw Ill Vision playing to their obvious strengths tonight and coupled with the genuine attitude their stage presence brought, it shows that they have a clear intention of what they wanted to create, which hopefully, spilled over onto their CD.
I hope this show brings a greater recognition to this band. Although their style isn’t the most original or boundary-pushing, they’ve been playing for long enough now to establish their writing and performance technique to a level that is very compelling to an audience looking for something to grab hold of them and give them a good fucking shake.
If that’s you, you know what you need to do.