ALBUM REVIEW – “Advice” by In Visions

One of the most impressive unsigned acts in America today, In Visions have honed their craft over the years they’ve been together and come on leaps and bounds from their earlier releases. With debut full-length Advice they’re clearly aiming to make a big impression, and their varied angles of attack ensure they do so. The concise LP balances obvious singalong and mosh sections with left-field diversions that are integrated into their aggressive metalcore with a surprising deftness of touch. Perhaps their most interesting characteristic is their huge focus on melody in the instrumental department, forgoing the monotonous dissonance many other bands of their ilk fall back on in favour of a more epic, triumphant feel most obvious on ‘Reject and Reflect’ and ‘Sleeper Pick’.

That’s not to say they don’t hit hard when they want to – ‘Under the Magnifying Glass’ has a more direct, gut-rumbling approach sure to incite mayhem in the live arena. It also boasts perhaps the best of the anthemic choruses scattered through Advice. A trio of guest appearances could have been gratuitous, but the vocal cameos are effectively integrated into the songs they’re a part of, the best of these being Garrett Rapp of The Color Morale’s turn on ‘Juggernaut’, the album’s highlight. The main riff threaded through the song is top-tier standard, and when it gives way to a breakdown section that’s slowly enveloped by a jarring lead pattern it shows the pinnacle of this band’s considerable ability.

The three part ‘Words…’ ‘…Of…’ ‘…Advice” set that begins, centrepoints and ends the album show a clear willingness for experimentation, and exploring sonic ideas beyond typical metalcore clichés. The jarring, almost industrial flavourings of the opener couldn’t be further from the tender clean guitars that make up almost the entirety of ‘…Of’…’, while the album’s title track brings things to an effectively summative conclusion with a dizzying array of dynamics. Both the clear skill of the musicians in the band and the versatility of its vocalists are evident throughout, and while the lyrics occasionally grate (the spoken verses of ‘The Endustry’ are the worst offender, the track saved by the excellent chorus), the performances themselves are consistently strong.

In Visions have a crafted an exciting debut in Advice, one that belies their status as relative underdogs with supreme confidence and a willingness to forego the obvious without sacrificing the genre’s hallmarks that some of the bigger players in the game would do well to take note of. More experience and the increased, um, vision that inevitably comes with it will only see them grow stronger. For now, the advice they have to give seems well worth taking.

Rating: 8/10

[Michael Bird]

‘Juggernaut’

 

‘Under the Magnifying Glass’

 

In Visions

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