Perception Blur

Viogression started in the midwest, Wisconsin, in the late 80’s, with a bunch of demos before their great 1991 debut album, Expound and Exhort.  The band has a very early death/thrash sound, which is to be expected given the time when the band started.  Enter Mike Juliano, owner of HPGD Productions, an excellent label, to bring forth the early demos and spit shining them with a crisp remaster to bring some damn fine music to the masses once again.

We get the Perception Blur 1989 demo, Execution 1990 demo, The Apocalypse 1989 demo and some extra songs from 1988.  I’ll get the negative right out of the way.  The final 4 songs which make up the Apocalypse and Disaster Demo and a tune from a rehearsal tape are pointless to be on here.  I guess for capturing all their pre-album stuff it’s cool, in that regard, however I will never listen to them again.  They’re all instrumentals with no vocals and I zoned the fuck out.  But the real deal are the first 2 demos-oh…they are damn good.

The material on the Perception Blur demo has more of a thrash vibe with the gang vocals attached to the songs.  The title track gallops along and has some nice thrash/gang vocals.  Sounding a little Nuclear Assault influenced with raspy/shouting vocals.  The musicianship was not too shabby.  Some of the drum rolls are a bit slow/lackluster, but the guitar riffing is definitely real cool, but the vocals add a bit of a hardcore fell to the overall sound.  “Cryonic Death” has cool drums in the beginning and man nothing beats the organic nature of the sound of the overall music. So natural.  Once the mid-paced thrashing part come in and the very speedy double bass kicks in and this is a fantastic song with a bit of an ExodusPleasures of the Flesh guitar sound and some cool gang shouting once again.

More of the meat and potatoes of what the band would do more on their debut album is found on the Execution demo where the heavier guitar riffing would take center stage and the vocals going towards a more early Obituary style.  Raspy, snarling, growly and sounds like Tardy did on  Slowly We Rot, where you can’t make out anything he’s fucking singing.  But back to Viogression-this demo could be one of the earliest in true death/thrash recordings.  The growls and tune, overall, are all on point.  “Fleshlords” has quite the slow beat down moments.  I could only imagine this song would bring out some vicious mosh pits.  “Survival Denial” is also excellent with the higher in the mix, double bass and the bass guitar strumming.  A pretty decent rhythm section.  The slow down moments are pure early death metal nostalgia for me, listening to this.  Mike-thanks for bringing these demos to light, buddy.

The remastering of the material on Perception Blur is actually really excellent.  Barely any hiss to the original tapes and that can be quite tough to do.  Of course the earlier demo stuff, the instrumentals, I mentioned that are at the end of this, do suffer from audible hiss, but still not too bad at all.  HPGD has done a great job with this demo comp and I truly love this album cover.  The mutant humanoid is pulling back a beautiful curtain falsely showing this glowing city, only to reveal, the true horror of the city demolished.  The overall cover has an epic 80’s quality to it and it’s striking; great work to the artist. Viogression’s Perception Blur is a highly recommended demo comp for all you crazy bastards out there.


[Visit the band's website]
Written by Frank Rini
February 26th, 2020


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