A Vision Grotesque: Metaphysical Hypnosis

It does not seem to matter which style or genre of music you wish to pick North Carolina has one if not more stunning examples and bands to offer. In this case extreme/melodic metal has been blessed by the emergence of A Vision Grotesque over the past eight years, a band that rifles the senses with deliberate aggressive violations whilst inspiring them with darkened melodic creativity underlined with menace and eager corruption. Combining a death metal intensity and sound with a searching progressive ingenuity the band offers something vibrant and very satisfying as their latest album Metaphysical Hypnosis proves.

Though formed in 2004 under the name of Art of Dying, the band had its seeds as early as 1995 when vocalist Joseph Grotesque, guitarist Jeremy Bennett, and drummer Steve Beaver began jamming together. 2004 also saw the first demo from the band to be succeeded the following year by Homicide Utopia and the band becoming a quintet. The subsequent six years saw the band recruiting more enthused fans through their dynamic live shows and the releases King of the Massacre and Waking Up To Hell (both 2007), the latter produced by Jamie King (Between the Buried and Me, Human Abstract) as was Metaphysical Hypnosis. This period also saw the name changed due to legal action brought by a Canadian band of the same name, not that this stopped the continued rise and acclaim of the band.

2011 saw the current line-up in place with second guitarist Ron Dalton (Nephilim/Beneath the Shadows) and bassist Daniel Quinn (Beneath the Shadows) joining the original trio. Metaphysical Hypnosis was recorded before the addition of the pair and with such an impressive basis there is strong anticipation for future releases with the new line-up.

It is fair to say Metaphysical Hypnosis does not stretch extreme metal boundaries preferring to bring a formidable and very accomplished skill and sound from within existing limits but the band delivers these sounds and consume the bodies of its recipients with a full and fresh inventive style of songwriting and music. This ensures that though the music comes with seeming influences from the likes of In Flames, Between the Buried and Me (another mighty N.C. band) , and At The Gates, they install them into their own strong and well crafted intent and results.

From the opening might of Prophets Of Infinity, through the excellent Genocide Politics and on to the manipulative and stunning closer Whisper The Serpent, the album places a firm and enticing grip around the senses, littering it with intimidating riffs, a consuming intensity and melodic intervention that inflames and inspires equally. These three songs alone scorch the ear and pummel feelings with skilled invention and even deeper success. The guitars wind around and squeeze the senses into willing submission, their acute melodies and flesh stripping abrasive fingerings insatiable and often irresistible whilst the bestial rhythms stomp and trample without of mercy.

Metaphysical Hypnosis is not the heaviest or hardest album you are likely to come across but it is one of the most resourceful and engaging extreme metal releases in the past couple of years. When it sounds this good the missing ambition to strike down new doors is not an issue and there is more than enough ideas and as mentioned freshness that lifts it above most other similar veined offerings, songs like the blistering melodic rock powered Sacred Geometry and the unrelenting To Taste The Living with its Swedish death metal spicery leaving nothing but pure enjoyment in their wake.

The album offers eight tracks that all hit the mark and keep the high level constant though Behind The Walls Of The Wicked takes things even higher with its addictive hungry groove and bullying rhythms, the vocals spewing unbridled bile and venom upon every syllable wonderfully, though that applies to each and every track. Infectious and impactful the track tells you all you need to know about A Vision Grotesque, a band with a hand and ability as mighty as the sounds they unleash.

Metaphysical Hypnosis may not top anyone’s favourite list though it will feature highly in most, but it is a release that will find a constant place in the playlist of any extreme metal fan once its high quality infection has taken hold and as it is now free to download from http://www.reverbnation.com/avisiongrotesque an introduction to A Vision Grotesque is a must.

RingMaster 08/04/2012.

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