Review by Greg Maki
What do you get when you match a guitarist/vocalist who’s a veteran of death metal bands with a drummer from a pop-punk act?
If the musicians you’re talking about are guitarist/vocalist Frank Costa (Animosity, Entheos) and drummer Mike Ambrose (Set Your Goals), joined by Corey Largent on guitar/vocals and Brandon McCubbin on bass, you get the promising new Black Sabbath-meets-Alice in Chains band Realms of Vision.
The group’s debut full-length, “Through All Unknown,” following the 2016 EP “Unrevenged,” comes with a heaping helping of colossal, doom-laden riffs. But unlike the stoner bands from which Realms of Vision also draws some influence, they never get lost in those deep, dark grooves thanks to some searing lead guitar work and a clean, melodic vocal approach. They also do a fine job of varying the tempo, a simple thing that works wonders. The band’s formula comes together best on “Two Wolves,” which features the record’s most memorable hook (apparently, wolves are “in” right now in rock music; see Bad Wolves, Joyous Wolf); the title track, with the dark, grimy feel of the aforementioned Alice in Chains; and the crushing closer, “Isolation’s Crown.”
My only problem with “Through All Unknown” is there isn’t enough of it— just eight songs, one of which is a brief, acoustic intro. But actually, I prefer a sharp, concise effort like this over some sprawling album that long overstays its welcome (see Machine Head’s latest, “Catharsis”). Always leave them wanting more, right? Mission accomplished.
(Creator-Destructor Records, March 30, 2018)