A Clearer View

Written by: PP on 03/11/2012 17:49:28

From the more abrasive and uncompromising corners of metalcore comes Version from Lucca, Italy, whose debut album "A Clearer View" follows in the footpath of older releases from particularly Architects and also Bring Me The Horizon. It takes a couple of listens getting into it because they spare no effort it making their effort as muscular and in-your-face as possible, often resorting into crude and ultra raw guitars to sledgehammer their point through to the listener.

Initially, the record sounds like a muddy mess of harsh screaming typical to metalcore with a few brief electronic backdrops and production tricks adding points of interest here and there, thanks to shoddy production by Tasters' Daniele Nelli who has left the sound way too unpolished and into a state that feels almost unmastered. The sound is often cracking and breaking from the knobs being turned too loud, which does no favors to Versions' overall sound. Fortunately their songwriting is strong enough to bear through it, thanks to a few more atmospheric guitar passages where the heavy factor is toned down for brief moments to make room for a more expansive sound. In fact, compression is one of the primary faults of "A Clearer View", because it leaves the vocals sound totally monotonous and the heavy guitars too abrasive. There's a fine line between a monotonous mess and a brooding metalcore expression, as Architects showed on "Hollow Crown" among other bands.

The screaming is sometimes broken by melancholic cleans, which are the highlight of any song they are featured in. Alongside the electronic effects, and the brief atmospherics, they add the necessary identifiers to Versions' sound to lift it out of the hopeless muddy mess the production has left it in. I know I've talked a lot about production in this review, but it's because "A Clearer View" feels like a decent record that's been left out in the cold by the production desk, which could've been much better with only a small amount of fine-tuning before release.

Download: Foundations, Rearranging Landscape, Things You Thought You Knew
For the fans of: Architects, Bring Me The Horizon, Tasters
Listen: Facebook

Release date 06.01.2012

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