THE VISION BLEAK – Weird Tales -Release: 12.04.24 – Genre: Horror Metal

THE VISION BLEAK return in grand style: The German duo’s seventh full-length „Weird Tales“ constitutes a monumental tribute to the eponymous American pulp magazine and other tales of mystery and dark imagination. The album consists of a single track that is divided into internal chapters, which are each inspired by weird tales, poems, and other literature of horror and the macabre.

The first issue of the original Weird Tales appeared on February 18, 1923. In the magazine’s glory days during the 1920s and 30s it featured groundbreaking works of fantasy, science fiction, and horror. Authors such as H. P. Lovecraft, who published several of his Cthulhu myth stories in the magazine, Robert E. Howard’s Conan the Barbarian as well as other famous early writers including Robert Bloch, Clark Ashton Smith, and later Ray Bradbury gained Weird Tales a legendary status.

On „Weird Tales“, THE VISION BLEAK are referring to H. P. Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith, but also allude to authors that were never featured in the magazine, for example Edgar Allen Poe and Lafcadio Hearn, whose „Fantastics and Other Fancies“ was very influential for this album.

In order to do these eminent authors justice with their homage, THE VISION BLEAK are pulling every register of their enormous musical prowess. The chapters range stylistically from flamboyant gothic rock via dark doom to harsh black and death metal parts – and about everything in between. All the thrilling elements that the following of the duo has come to expect and love is present on this record: the dramatic and theatrical, the harsh and heavy, the melancholic and eerie, and also catchy and symphonic moments. All of this is woven into a dense sonic tapestry, which is held together by a recurring ebb and flow that is reminiscent of classical composition.

THE VISION BLEAK were born out of friendship. Guitarist, bass-player and harsh vocalist Markus Stock aka Ulf Theodor Schwadorf and drummer and singer Tobias Schönemann alias Allen B. Konstanz (both also played keyboards) had already worked together on the latter’s project NOX MORTIS since its earliest stages. After first experimenting with a more gothic rock formula, THE VISION BLEAK shaped up when the duo began to involve their mutual love for the horror genre.

Already their debut album, „The Deathship Has a New Captain“ (2004) became an instant success in both gothic and metal circles and is by now regarded as a classic. THE VISION BLEAK’s distinct and distinguished style was already fully developed, featuring the trademark alternate vocals of Schönemann’s low and deep clear voice and Stock’s higher pitched metal shrieks, as well as captivating melancholic and triumphant melodies, and pounding rhythms. As the debut album’s theme was based on classical horror movies, the Germans aptly dubbed their style: horror metal.

With the following albums, THE VISION BLEAK cemented their reputation as purveyors of classy and quality music. Each full-length revolves around themes from the horror genre that can easily be deduced from their respective titles. „Carpathia“ (2005) was followed by „The Wolves Go Hunt Their Prey (2007) and „Set Sail to Mystery (2010), „Witching Hour“ (2013), and „The Unknown“ (2016).

Apart from delivering outstanding albums, THE VISION BLEAK also have proved their enormous worth as a live entity. Although the Germans appear rather rarely on stages, it is always a highlight when they chose to do it. They have toured with Alcest, Pain, and The 69 Eyes among many others and performed at such major festivals as Wacken Open Air, Hellfest, Summer Breeze, Wave Gotik Treffen, and M’era Luna, as well as select choice ones such as Eindhoven Metal Meeting, Ragnarök, and Prophecy Fest for a full performance of the debut album in 2023.

THE VISION BLEAK, the masters of horror metal, are finally ready to gift the world their most ambitious song so far: „Weird Tales“ is a beautiful and heartfelt homage to a poetic golden age of horror and mystery literature that has championed most influential authors outside the mainstream like no other. Listen with care, but always be wary of the eldritch and forbidding sounds that lurk within this song!

Release date: April 12, 2024
Style: Horror Metal
Label: Prophecy Productions

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Listen to the masterpiece directly on Spotify here: