Distorted Visions – Born Dead
Release Date: 05/03/2020
Running Time: 32:46
Review by ‘Dark Juan’
Salutations, you horde of blackened fiends with chronically dry skin on your hands from washing them too much. I recommend cocoa butter or the blood of your latest victims as moisturiser. Assuming you have murdered them at an acceptably socially distanced… ahem, distance. I am Dark Juan, and there is no alcohol at Dark Juan Terrace, and I am not allowed out to buy any more either. Henceforth, I’m drinking astronomically strong coffee and not thinking about eating any more food, as this fucking coronavirus appears to have had the unexpected symptom of making all my clothes shrink. My Second Invocation Robes (Spring Weight) are unaccountably snug around the midsection and I have absolutely no idea why. Anyway, today’s stream of consciousness nonsense is brought to you by Milanese nu/metalcore (it sez ‘ere) four-piece Distorted Visions. Milan is in Italy, for any of you who might be geographically challenged. Believe it or not, I have met some people in the past who thought that England was part of London. They got the shortest of shrifts, as you might imagine. Dark Juan is not a man who suffers fools gladly.
Gaze upon my field of fucks, my most benighted congregation of the lost, and see that it is utterly barren. I gave my last fuck somewhere around 2003.
Distorted Visions appear to be having some kind of metal personality crisis. They are musically schizoid – as if Static-X and Fear Factory jumped Killswitch Engage in a dark alley, took them to a lab and started splicing their relative DNA together to see what kind of chimera was created, before Korn and Sepultura fucked it up by breaking in and pissing in the petri dish… However, the hellish hybrid adapted and burst out into Milan’s metal scene and released “Born Dead”, their debut record.
Produced by Lacuna Coil’s bassist Marco Coti Zelati (terribly, as it turns out) Distorted Visions switch maniacally between hardcore beatdowns, metalcore riffing and the beeps and squelches and staccato tempos of nu-metal, before further muddying the waters with elements of cyber metal keyboards and the occasional snot-nosed vocal style of Jonathan Davis as his most obnoxious and unpleasant. It is indeed a confusing mix, but somehow, just somehow, these young Italian maniacs hold it the fuck together. By rights it should be a horrible fucking mess, but it all somehow works.
However, the production of this record lets it down badly. It is muddy as fuck, far too bass prevalent (the anti-Metallica?) and the drums sit far too low in the mix. Cymbals are hidden behind walls of unintentional low-fi bass twanging and the guitar spends quite a lot of time being almost inaudible, again due to the bass being overpowering. Is producer Marco Coti Zelati a bass player by any chance? Wink wink… And I fucking hate the sound of the snare drum with a passion only second to deflowering Christian virgins upon their sacred altars and turning them to my own peculiar gospel. Normally involving inventive uses for crucifixes and chalices, the poor things… There are swathes of samples, and sharp, keening keyboard beneath the bass-led sonic torrent extremely reminiscent of Fear Factory and Static-X, and the sharp, staccato style, almost deconstructionist riffing of the late and lamented Mr. Wayne Static makes more than a few appearances along the way. But then Distorted Visions fool you with some meaty as fuck breakdowns and then some almost Chino Moreno like Deftonesy vocals before thinking fuck this for a game of soldiers and returning to level your fucking house with the power of METAL!
Opener ‘Introspection’ would not be out of place on a Fear Factory remix album (like “Fear Is The Mindkiller”) before you are knocked six feet backward with the first tune proper ‘Every Time I Die’ (Metalcore speed in the verse, Korn backing vocal, Static-X keyboard, back to metalcore with the riffing and solo on the middle eight) which is a fucking killer song and a hell of an opener. ‘Paranoia’ grips you with a very Korn-esque, speaker swapping guitar sound before the vocal of Marco (incidentally, a splendid growler, but sometimes tries far too hard to the detriment of his own voice) kicks in. The chorus is a simple pump your fucking fist in the air affair but that ain’t no bad thing, cowboy. Stand out songs are ‘Harakiri’, and the interesting and angular ‘Seventeen’.
Shitty production aside, this is a fucking good record. Inventive, formed from disparate elements but fused to a satisfyingly massive whole and heavier than your mother in depleted uranium knickers. Distorted Visions, I salute you. You’ve made a massive debut record.
The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System (Il Sistema Brevettato di Valutazione del Sangue Schizzare di Dark Juan) awards Distorted Visions a suitably gore soaked 8/10 for a really fun record to listen to. It rewards repeated listening mightily, but loses marks for the world’s shittiest production and too much reliance of breakdowns. Otherwise, fucking impressive!
Forza Italia! E forza Milano!
02. Every Time I Die
04. Undefined Pain
Marco Cicala (Toro Loco. Please don’t confuse the stupid English person any more than he already is by mixing Italian and Spanish for fuck’s sake! Grazie.) – Vocals
Emanuele Cicala (E.M. CLEARLY this man is a fan of Ever-Metal.com and therefore a man of taste and discretion) – Guitar
Tiziano Baruffi (Tiz [Was?] Oh, Google it. I can’t be arsed explaining. However, Sally James though…) – Bass
Davice Dalla Pozza (Dave. Proof of my theory that every band needs a Dave)– Drums/ vocals
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