Released: 2001, Independent
Back in August 2000 I reviewed Temple of Eternity’s first MCD, ICED. It was a decent slab of thrashed death metal that was pretty cool, but really didn’t leave a huge dent in my skull. Well, the band is back with a new MCD and the question is have they improved? Well, at my first listen to VISIONS, I didn’t think so. In fact, I thought they had regressed! Not a good sign. As I listened to the disc a few more times though, I realized that, although it was less immediate than ICED, it was certainly better.
Right from the start, you can tell that the production on this disc is much better than their previous one. Crisp and clear so that you can hear everything, and yet suitably dirty to fit the band’s death metal compositions. The bass drums are still fairly powerless, but with a bigger recording budget, that will surely change. Anyway, on to the songs!
As mentioned in my review of ICED, ToE composes short right-to-the-quick songs that go straight for the gut. This is a strong point for the band that they smartly haven’t changed. “Visions of the Blind” opens the disc with typical death fury and is quickly followed with the 1-2 punch of “Deep” and “Echoes”. All three songs are fast-paced and immediately get your head banging! One problem that I had with ICED was the use of cheesy female vocals. Thankfully, those are gone here...but wait! They seem to be replaced with some awful hardcore shouts. Not cool. Yeah, they’re used sparingly, but they almost wreck “Echoes”. “Donor” gets things back on track before the band inexplicably ends with their worst song “Barefoot & Goldielocks”. This song is sung almost entirely in the hardcore style with some punky call-answer choruses. Simply put, this song does not belong on a death metal disc. Why, guys, why? Ugh.
Despite the misstep at the end of the disc, Temple of Eternity have come through beautifully here, as VISIONS OF THE BLIND is a thrill-ride of a disc. This band is quickly improving so catch ‘em while you can!