Visionist – A Call to Arms

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Album cover for "A Call to Arms"

The first 180 seconds of A Call to Arms is an intense journey. You are wrapped in a blanket of noise. Perhaps it’s an echo of long-abandoned factories, perhaps traffic roars amongst construction beneath your window, perhaps a raging river is tearing away your bedroom walls. Westminster Quarters begins to chime and the sound devolves into a fever dream of distortion and bells and wailing clarinets and then …

Everything stops.

There is nothing. You abruptly awaken, the fever dream reverberating away as you blink in silence. You look around with weary eyes and try to remember the toll of the angry clock, but the silence pulls at your eyelids. Soon you’re back in the hypnotic madness of the factory and the traffic and the rushing water. Abruptly, a siren bleats, then a voice begins to harmonize with the relentless warning.

This is the first 180 seconds of A Call to Arms. The next 41 minutes are equally as intense. On some listens, I felt like a fearful child being forced into my first swimming pool by a fatigued parent. On others the music sat with me like a comfortable friend.

Louis Carnell (aka Visionist) calls this album a “day-dream society.” I call it a fever dream. Whatever kind of dream it is, A Call to Arms is an alternate state of mind that I won’t soon forget.

Released: March 5, 2021

About Chuck

Chuck is a lifelong music lover. He spent his 20s working as a professional musician before discovering he enjoys listening to music more than playing it. He knows a little bit about most genres, though electronic dance music, rock, and hip-hop are his favorites. Eleven albums/shows that transformed how he sees and hears the world (in order he encountered them): Fleetwood Mac Rumours; Van Halen Fair Warning; The Cure Standing on a Beach; John Coltrane Crescent; De La Soul Three Feet High and Rising; Puccini La Boheme (de los Angeles, Bjorling, Beecham); Everything but the Girl Walking Wounded; Carl Cox, Twilo, NYC, May 2000; Godspeed You! Black Emperor Yanqui U.X.O.; Grateful Dead. Fillmore East, NYC, April 1971; Taylor Swift 1989.

2 thoughts on “Visionist – A Call to Arms

  1. admin

    This is definitely not an easy record and probably one that requires multiple listens. After one listen though, the big thing for me is that it seems like there is always order trying to cut through the chaos and I like that. It neither ignores nor gives in to the chaos around us.

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  2. Chuck

    That’s an interesting observation, one I didn’t pick up on initially. I do agree with you. It’s not noise and chaos for the sake of noise and chaos. This observation actually makes me understand his whole idea of a “day dream society” a little bit more clearly, perhaps the way we fall into imagination and then come back to our “real” lives constantly throughout the day.

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