(By Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker, Lead Journalist/Writer, RiffRelevant.com)
Laurel, Maryland’s Thousand Vision Mist (TVM) is one of those type of bands that you just know are a well-cradled underground secret so to speak. Still relatively a young act, TVM was formed in 2013 and currently contains members Danny Kenyon (guitar / vocals), Tony Comulada (bass / bkg. vocals) and Chris Sebastian (drums). Like is common with many a Maryland-based band, the guys have an impressive roster of other acts they’ve been part of at one time or another but TVM definitely has its very own sound.
That sound is best described as a genre-melding style of progressive doom but it does lay claim to a bit of blues and even metal. Thousand Vision Mist issued a well-received Demo in 2015 that helped the band land a slot on the inaugural Maryland Doom Festival that same year. Since then, they have regularly played shows and other select appearances and fests.
The reason we have gathered here today is due to my recently being hand-selected (or blessed, however you wish to phrase it) by Thousand Vision Mist to hear, and ultimately review, the band’s imminent full-length offering. The 10-song album is titled “Journey To Ascension And The Loss Of Tomorrow” and it will drop digitally on November 3rd with physical formats to follow on Nov. 18th.
If you have heard or own the aforementioned Demo then you already have a rudimentary inkling of what Thousand Vision Mist are capable of. But, you know what? Toss those notions out the window and forget them because TVM have taken a massive leap forward with their latest compositions. Not just in the crafting of them but also in their execution, quite clearly. The tight knit, emotionally enhanced music of this record is a fluid, well-textured kaleidoscope of multifaceted proportions.
There is an aural journey to be undertaken here and it begins with the darker hues of “Grieving Sky“. The song, much like TVM themselves, is a musicians’ jackpot of enjoyment. The trio does not merely just play music, they play music with vigor and when doing so, myriad things are happening at any given moment. Here, the trio interact on a level that most only dream of, all while traversing ever-changing tempos and time signatures. In layman’s terms, there is just so much going on.
That onslaught of audio activity is the calling card of TVM in cut after cut. Energized flows of superb instrumentation course through tracks like the semi-Sabbathian “Tombstones Throw“, the funk-fueled “Final Flight Of Fall” or Nineties’ grunge-like throwback, “Darklight“. Kenyon’s vocals remain distinct in each, powerful and soaring along the paths provided by the music, sometimes bolstered by Comulada’s accompanying reinforcement.
When the trio interjects their own uniquely distinctive quotient of melody, like they do on such numbers as “Tides Of Tomorrow” or “Skybound And Beyond“, the viscosity is inescapable. The grooves are so thick and sticky, anchored into place as the trio moves and works as one well-oiled machine. The latter track’s intertwining guitar leads and soloing, which eventually lead the listener out of the clouds, are just phenomenal.
It is those very same jaw-dropping guitars, along with the nimble rhythm section’s additions, that source the astounding instrumental “Holy Ground“. A fast paced, far-reaching exercise in modulating tempos and the use of music to set a mood. Periodically a feeling of anxiety builds within this borderline thrasher but just as you are certainly about to panic, the guys immediately walk it back with a bit of some boogie ‘n blues.
The high points of this record are endless, this is truly the rise of progressive rock and roll from out of a scene primarily dominated by doom and heaviness. Now, that is not to say that Thousand Vision Mist don’t exude their own quantity of heaviness here for they surely do so (see “Prince Of Grace” or “Window Through Time“). Yet they do so with temperance and subtle flare, it doesn’t come on with crushing heaviness off the line. No, instead the trio mete it out with gradual augmentation, before you fully realize it’s happening, you are reeling.
You may as well prepare to do a lot of reeling with Thousand Vision Mist‘s “Journey To Ascension And The Loss Of Tomorrow“, my friends. This is one of those beloved rarities where one, two, or even three or four listens, will merely begin to scratch the surface of what has been crafted here. Much like the title implies, there is a trek to be undertaken here, one with highs and lows, with reward and requitement. It is up to you to discover what you will walk away with in hand, as well as head and heart, once heard.