Artist: These Fading Visions
Milwaukee’s These Fading Visions has returned and are showing fans new tricks! Their new EP, Rebirth, is aptly-titled for many reasons. First and foremost, the band has become a four-piece and consists of original members Justin Wiedower (vocals), Chase Kendall (Guitar), along with fresh blood Colton Ramey (bass) and Max Borzick (drums). While most would automatically assume that this would create a more simplistic sound, this couldn’t be further from the truth. They’ve also begun to experiment with effects (synth, samples, etc) to explore a more atmospheric, post-hardcore sound than in their previous release. Wiedower opens up his range and showcases his talents in spades on this release, in both clean and unclean formats. It becomes evident from the first 30 seconds of lead single, “Self-Defense” that they’ve pulled out all the stops and are eager to show the world what they’ve become.
While “Self-Defense” is a much faster, aggressive and hardcore-influenced track than most of the release, it’s a punishing and eye-opening introduction to a more matured, steadfast version of the band. There is a clear focus on more emotional, melodic story-telling on this EP and features a lot of darker subject matter that can only be expressed in this type of music. Open to interpretation (as all good music usually is), the track “Self-Defense” can deal with the subject of either religion keeping someone grounded OR an influential figure in the person’s life, who is constantly there when things get tough. The second single and, ironically enough, the second song on the EP “Voice of War” opens up with a synthy, electronic section and is much more focused on melody. This is fitting in that this particular track explores crushing loss and the resulting feelings of grief that come with it. Dedicated to Justin’s grandfather, Lauren Wiedower Sr., this is one of the most moving and memorable tracks on the album. This track has a heavy, sad-yet-hopeful atmosphere to it as the lyrics chronicle a journey of self-doubt and an overwhelming sense of devastation.
One of the most mesmerizing things about Rebirth is how well these tracks have been mixed. Oftentimes, bands have a small budget and thus have to opt into self-recording/self-releasing or going to someone who doesn’t bring out their sound, in the way that it should. Sadly, this results in your music only sounding good in headphones or REALLY good sound systems. Regardless of how you take the time to jam this EP, you’ll find yourself hypnotized by how good it sounds. I’ve done experiments with cheap earbuds, my stereo system, my truck’s speakers and my phone’s speaker. All of them sounded just as good, if not better, than the last. One of the downfalls of Reaching New Heights is that, while the songs were incredible… the mixes weren’t as great as they could be.
Let’s dive back in, shall we? “Side Effects” explores substance abuse issues and the need to self-medicate at every turn. This track begins to experiment with a more nu-metal sound in terms of guitar tone. Again, melody is favored over aggression on this track, giving a much more haunting feel to the lyrics. Polar opposite, “Demon” is the heaviest track the band has ever written. Even more nu-metal influence comes in on the guitar tones here and it feels like you’re transported back to the early 00’s at times. This track is a straight headbanging, mosh-pit starting monster from start to finish. Not only does Wiedower TRULY sound angry in his delivery, the atmosphere of the track follows suit!
Finally, “The Only Light” comes in and wraps things up nicely. A good balance between melody and aggression, with some clean guitar tones in the pre-chorus. The echoed screams in the bridge that build up before Wiedower belts out the final chorus are one of my favorite moments on this EP. I’m a sucker for a good build-up and this is one of the best examples I’ve heard in recent years, in this particular genre.
Rebirth is more than just a title for this EP. It’s a statement that the band has learned from past mistakes, has dealt with the hardships placed upon them and risen like a phoenix from the ashes, spreading their beautiful wings for all to see. It’s a testament to what happens when you put in hard work, persevere and hone your skills, as opposed to rushing out a product. I wouldn’t be surprised if we start seeing some label interest in these guys, as they’ve truly got the skill and the sound that is running rampant these days. Pick up Rebirth on the digital retailer of your choosing, stream it on Spotify or hit up the dates below to snag a physical copy/merch and see them perform the album, in its entirety! Check out the videos for “Voice of War” and “Self-Defense” below, as well!
3/22: Louisville, KY | Paddocks Pub
3/23: Nashville, TN | Nash Vegas
3/25: Augusta, GA | Soulbar
3/26: St. Augustine, FL | Shanghai Nobbys
3/27: Newport Richey, FL | The Verona
3/28: Orlando, FL | Shovelhead
3/29: Duluth, GA | Sweetwater Bar
3/30: Memphis, TN | Rock House Live
3/31: Chicago, IL | QBar
4/5: Milwaukee, WI | X-Ray Arcade (Rebirth Album Release)
Justin Wiedower – Vocals
Chase Kendall – Guitars
Colton Ramey – Bass
Max Borzick – Drums