Credit: Eighteen Visions: P.R. Brown

This Orange County outfit at first seems like another competent-plus gaggle of headbangers à la Saliva or Drowning Pool. But midway through Eighteen Visions, their major-label debut (and fifth CD), you suddenly realize that EV have a lot more going for them than most of their contemporaries: The brutal playing is consistently yoked to memorable melodies and you can understand every word the singer sings. Sometimes, it even swings (”Victim”). Time will tell if they can cross over, but right now these fellas sound like that rarest of musical beasts: a metal band for people who normally give a wide berth to the genre.