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Vision Divine - '9 Degrees West Of The Moon' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/f5/6b/05/694_VISIONDIVINE9DegreesWestOfTheMoon_1285953796.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     October 01, 2010    
 
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New album by the Italian symphonic/progressive power metal outfit.

An Italian symphonic/progressive power metal outfit with an ever more impressive back catalogue under their belts, Vision Divine started life some ten years ago as what at the time seemed little more than a side project for Labyrinth guitarist Olaf Thorsen. Since issuing their eponymous debut at the tail end of ’99, Vision Divine have gone on to release four more studio albums, and far from being a mere side project, have actually become one of the main players on the Italian domestic metal scene.

Since the arrival of Michele Luppi for 2004’s thought provoking ‘Stream Of Consciousness’ opus, Vision Divine have factored increasing amounts of melody into the mix; strong, finely honed melodies which, when combined with their undoubted technical prowess, has pushed the band to hitherto unattainable heights. It therefore seems a tad strange that for latest release ‘9 Degrees West Of The Moon’, Luppi has been replaced with none other than Fabio Lione, original Labyrinth/Vision Divine vocalist, and currently still supposedly part of the Rhapsody set up (although given all the legal bullshit, when they’ll surface again is open to question).

As a consequence, in some respects the Vision Divine sound takes a bit of a step backwards towards the brooding, epic power metal style which graced their first couple of efforts. Fortunately, none of the grandiose complexity which has gradually engulfed their recent work has been lost in the transition – indeed, if like me you’re a fan of Labyrinth circa ‘Return To Heaven Denied’, this latest release has plenty to offer!

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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Once again, former Stratovarius guru Timo Tolkki has done an excellent job behind the production desk, perfectly capturing the dynamic light and shade which so characterizes this release, imbuing the songs with a statesman like sense of melodrama and grandeur. I must confess to missing some of Luppi’s lighter moments, but overall, tracks such as ‘Fading Shadow’, ‘9° West Of The Moon’, and epic opener ‘Letter To My Child Never Born’ more than satisfy in a Labyrinth meets Stratovarius kind of way ... even the Priest classic ‘Touch Of Evil’ sounds great, and I’m not normally a big fan of covers.

In an age when the market for traditional AOR is all but extinct, it’s good to see labels like Frontiers branching out into other markets. The new Primal Fear should prove to be a real coup on their part, but in the meantime, you could do a lot worse than check out Vision Divine.

DAVE COCKETT

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