The Vision Bleak
Set Sail To Mystery
6/25/2010 - Review by: Raising Iron
For those left slightly jaded with The Vision Bleak's excursion into a sorta pseudo-NWOBHM/Doom territory ala The Wolves Go Hunt Their Prey (still a good album), you'll be delighted to hear that the "deathship" has ported, slapped on a new coat of paint, and re-charted a course similar to 2005's Carpathia. With their latest opus, Set Sail to Mystery, the flair for the baroque wrapped in gothic gildings returns with boisterous bluster, the duo dialing in the dynamics of their orchestrated horrors to great effect.
The opening spoken poem, wonderfully titled "A Curse of the Grandest Kind" sets the mood perfectly with its grim build from a quiet moan into a great howl, crashing into the second track, "Descent into Maelstrom". "I Dined With the Swans" follows, with a first person serial killer narrative that is brutally brilliant, and "Mother Nothingness" plods along a singularly doomed path, its huge melodic chorus even receiving some death growls to accompany the shift in the vocal timbre around the six and a half minute mark; epic orchestral doom indeed! "He Who Paints the Black of Night" is a furiously aggressive closer, or is it? Check the deluxe digipak, you get a second disc of ample remixes all classically orchestrated and pared down to quicken the effect, and a Masters Hammer cover to boot!
There is no doubt the pair of Germans put great time and effort into this release. Recorded in their own studio, the guys obviously know how to use it's wizardry to added effect, the vocals particularly translucent this time out. Virtually every song stands on its own, and like Moonspell, The Vision Bleak are one of the few bands to pull off such grandiose endeavors so convincingly, leaving the listener wondering if a bit of vampyric blood doesn't actually run through their veins.
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