Damned By Light - Album Review: John 3:16 - "Visions of the Hereafter - Visions of Heaven, Hell and Purgatory"
"...John 3:16 takes the attentive listener along for a flight among the cotton clouds that the beautiful, almost ethereal, guitar arpeggios wave together. A quote from Tenacious D’s debut album keeps popping into my head “How about the power to move you?" because that is really what this album is about. It’s like falling into the rabbit’s hole, but what you find on the other side is a piece of paradise you never want to leave. Of course we have some passages that feel like reading a Robert Jordan book, where the road through the forest never seems to end, but on the other side we have beautiful fulfillment.
Even if the music does show a few glimpses of the good old industrial sounds, these only serve to give paradise a well welcome edge instead of just flights along with the unicorns. Without some of the harsher sections the album would have been too close to a gospel or something out of “My Little Pony" and way too cute.
There is no angst in the music which is also a good thing. John 3:16 showcases the rare combination of beauty and an edge without useless melancholy and this is what makes “Visions of hereafter" truly unique.
The layers and sounds are woven together so tight that they couldn’t live without each other. This natural symbiosis creates atmospheres thick enough that you can see the shapes of the music before your eyes... almost real enough to touch them.
The album also features some vocals and spoken samples that, I believe, are added on to strengthen the concept of the music, but I really don’t see them as a necessity, nor do they actually take anything away from the overall experience.
However, the absolute strengths of “Visions of the Hereafter" is definitely in the layered atmospheres and ethereal soundscapes.
Even if the production is a bit ‘cold’ there is an enormous amount of warmth in the music.
...and most importantly, the music leaves me with a happy smile.
9- / 10