Release Date: 5th March 2021
For Fans Of: Northlane, Thornhill, Spiritbox
While Void of Vision showed flashes of potential – and a knack for a mighty riff – on 2019’s Hyperdaze, their second album was dragged down by its uninventiveness and a lack of variety that left them trailing behind some of their peers. Now, eighteen months on from the original’s release, they have revived the songs with a guest turn on all but two tracks, the remainder of which have received the remix treatment. While these guest turns regularly succeed in elevating the record, they don’t however lift it in the places where it needed to be lifted most.
Make no mistake: the line up of guests here, among them Jamie Hails (Polaris), Lucas Woodland (Holding Absence) and Kadeem France (Loathe), is positively drool inducing. For the most part, their potential isn’t wasted. Jacob Charlton of labelmates Thornhill’s soaring vocal brings new melodic depth to opener ‘Year of the Rat’ beautifully while Justice for the Damned’s Bobak Rafiee adds a roar that could wake the dead to the already hellishly heavy ‘Babylon’.
‘Decay’, meanwhile, was already the standout of the original album and remains so on Hyperdaze (Redux) with a spectacularly stylish performance from South African singer and rapper Ecca Vandal. Her guest turn is genuinely refreshing within the album as a whole and succeeds as much as it does because she brings something different in both sound and delivery, which was exactly what the record was crying out for.
Other attempts at rejuvenating these songs are less successful. Crossfaith’s Ken Koie and Silent Planet’s Garrett Russell are unable to deliver enough of a kick to ‘Hole In Me’ and ‘Kerosene Dream’, though since these are some of the record’s more forgettable tracks it is likely no fault of their own. In addition, Lucas Woodland is the perfect fit for the post-hardcore sensibilities of ‘If Only’, but his talent and the potential he could add is wasted by the poor production that near enough washes him out.
The two remixes on the record also produce mixed results. The 90-second EDM interlude ‘Adrenaline’ was too jarring to ever make any sense on the original Hyperdaze and Jon Deiley’s remix doesn’t make it any better. There’s just not enough source material to justify extending it to over twice the original’s length, which makes for a rather aimless, repetitive remix, and it could be neatly excised like the original’s ‘Overture’ without any real loss.
By contrast, Up Late’s genre-splicing remix of ‘Hyperdaze’ melds metalcore and EDM with finesse and it is a welcome surprise to conclude the record with. Both genres shine through equally, in harmony rather than competition, and combine to make something rather exciting. This and the aforementioned ‘Decay’ prove that Void of Vision can smash genre boundaries if they want to and they can succeed if it’s integrated within the metalcore they are accustomed to.
Re-releasing a record with collaborations is a great concept and one which had great potential for Void of Vision. When this record shines, it really shines, but on other occasions, the potential is unfortunately wasted.
Recommended track: ‘Decay’ (featuring Ecca Vandal)