CD Reviews

Vision - 'The Other Side Of Grey' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     September 14, 2010    
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Great sound and wonderful packaging.

Vision is the (ahem..)vision of guitarist Sean P. Gahgan and vocalist Nefarious (which I presume isn’t his real name), although they are aided and abetted by Alex Kai on drums and bassist Azrael. Genre wise this is a hard collection of songs to categorise, as the focus can alter from song to song. That in itself however is no bad thing and the in your face brash metal assault that can be found on the album can in places benefit from the variety of influences that are brought in to temper the attack. Two words that do undoubtedly apply to every moment on ‘The Other Side of Grey’ are grandiose and overblown, for Vision are not a band that ever reign in the excesses of their music. Whether it is the trad metal ‘Steel the Thunder’ where the riffs are mighty and the vocals are deeply growled or squealed in as high a pitch as can be reached without attracting dogs, or the acoustic, classically inspired ‘Oceans Away’ which has a guitar tone that immediately reminds of Ace Frehley’s ‘Fractured’ instrumentals and some overly complex vocal arrangements. Of all the CDs I received for review for this issue, this is the one that I have listened to most and the reason for that, is that all the constituent parts should come together to create an album full of music I adore, however for a variety of reasons I seem to be more confused by ‘The Other Side of Grey’ after every outing it receives. Now don’t get me wrong, this is a solid album that at different times reminds of Queensryche, Fates Warning, Queen, Megadeth or even Meat Loaf and contains some tremendous guitar work from Gahgan alongside a rock solid rhythm section whilst Nefarious is an extremely talented singer. 

The vocals are in fact more of a focus than the majority of albums you will come across in this style. Nefarious’ performances are full and rounded, he has an admirable ability to hold notes for extended times and possesses a powerful roar that he utilises to great effect. That said if you asked me to name one singer of whom he reminds me most strongly, I would have to say Vince Neil of Motley Crue, who wouldn’t necessarily be someone you would pick out as having those talents mentioned. However time and again the vocals take me to the Motley Crue track ‘Primal Scream’. Unlike many, I quite like Neil’s singing, so therefore I am also perfectly happy with Nefarious. The whole project has been kept in house with Azrael producing, engineering and mixing the disc and whilst his work leaves a crystal clear and sharp sound, I do feel that some of the excesses displayed on most of the songs could have easily been smoothed off by having the influence of an outside ear for this project. I am sure however that the band would refute that and rightly claim to have been aiming for exactly what is on offer here and I am also sure that many would agree with them. There is a huge amount of talent displayed on ‘The Other Side of Grey’, the sound is great and the packaging is quite wonderful too, so if you love music with grand bold themes and scant regard for keeping things in moderation then this may well be right up your street. I am intrigued enough to want to hear the follow up release, however I’ll be hoping for slightly more refinement next time.

Steven Reid

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