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Visions of Disfigurement – Aeons of Misery

Visions of Disfigurement
Aeons of Misery
by Colum Hill at 24 August 2020, 12:04 AM

VISIONS OF DISFIGUREMENT are a Brutal/Slam Death Metal band hailing from my own ends in Manchester, England. Originally forming in 2013 as a collaborative internet project, they quickly developed into a full live band, performing shows as early as 2014. They released their debut album "Abhorrent Extinction" in 2016 and a follow-up EP "Exordium" in 2019. "Aeons of Misery" is VISIONS OF DISFIGUREMENT'S 2020 sophomore album, offering up just over thirty minutes of dense, heavy Brutal Death Metal with thick slams and slurry guttural vocals – including guest growls and gurgles from STILLBIRTH'S Lukas Swiaczny, WHORETOPSY'S Zac Bergholtz and BEGGING FOR INCEST'S Meik Grziwa.

"Aeons of Misery" opens with building guitars and an ominous sample - “I don't know how many dead bodies you guys have seen…especially at this stage…”, before "The Body Farm" announces itself with a heavy, tension-building riff. It isn't long before this short opener bursts into a brutish slam, a sign of things to come. After a tense introduction, "Unimpaired Depravity" fires open into a flurry of sharp Death Metal riffs, blasting drums and monstrous vocals ranging from low, wet, slurry, gutturals to mid-to-high range screeches and squeals. Despite the fact that "Aeons of Misery" features three guest vocalist, it is lead vocalist Daniel Bramley himself that provides the most interesting vocals.

The eponymous "Aeons of Misery" opens with a brutal chugged riff accompanied by the odd pinch harmonic before again breaking down into a hulking slam riff that juxtaposes its crawling pace with the rapid-fire blasting of Ben Quinlivan's drumming. "Depraved Cognitive Deformation" is built around creeping, chugging half-slams alternating with more jagged uptempo Death Metal riffs, eventually culminating in a crawling funeral slam that grows steadily more intense before the track's demise. Lucas Swiaczny takes care of the vocals, with a similar broad low-mid-high range like Bramley, but his voice is a bit boomier and more conventional, with less of the slurry, sewery sound that we hear on most of the album. So the vocals in this track have a bit more emphasis, but also less of a distinct sound.

"Chains of Consciousness" is fronted by Zac Bergholtz but he has a very similar voice to Bramley and while he suits the track and album fine, doesn't bring anything extra to the table. The song itself is a cycle of heavy slams, steady, unwavering Death Metal riffs and the occasional speedier burst. "Perpetual Torment" features third guest Meik Grwiza, although he too doesn't sound a great deal different from Bramley – if pushed I'd say I prefer the album's lead vocalist by a touch but all vocal contributions are capably handled.

There is little in the way of surprises on "Aeons of Misery", which isn't generally a problem for Brutal/Slam Death Metal. It's better when a band focuses on crafting quality songs and riffs than incorporating novel experiments and outside influences just for their own sake. However, I would say that VISIONS OF DISFIGUREMENT stay a little too boxed in for their own good, and could work on carving out a more distinct sound if they aim to be noticed above other bands in the Slam Death Metal scene.

The songs are not too memorable and are not very distinct from one another, even with the guests involved. The album shines strongest during the creeping, crawling slam sections – and when they're drawn out as in the end of songs like "Depraved Cognitive Deformation" and "Citadel of Flesh" is when the band sound strongest. When Cahill and Weeler play those dirgey slam riffs, Quinlivan beats and grinds over the top and Bramley churns out ultra-low, slurry gurgles beneath is when VISIONS OF DISFIGUREMENT undoubtedly sound their strongest.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 6
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. The Body Farm
2. Unimpaired Depravity
3. Aeons of Misery
4. Depraved Cognitive Deformation (feat. Lukas Swiaczny of Stillbirth)
5. Kadingir Sanctum
6. Spawning Putrefication
7. Chains of Consciousness (feat. Zac Bergholtz of Whoretopsy)
8. Citadel of Flesh
9. Perpetual Torment (feat. Meik Grziwa of Begging for Incest)
10. Pandemonium
11. Plagues
Lineup:
Daniel Bramley – Vocals
Tom Cahill – Guitars
Ben Quinlivan – Drums
Adam Wheeler – Bass
Record Label: Realityfade Records
     


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