Devil's Review: Vision Divine – Destination Set to Nowhere

I was looking forward to reviewing this album, despite not being too familiar with Vision Divine‘s previous works.  The Italian band fits the Progressive/Power Metal mold and has all the ingredients to craft significant material in the genre – plus, it isn’t typical Italian movie-score music (i.e., Rhapsody, Holy Knights).  Why is it, then, that this album fails to grab my attention and prompt me to play it, other than to review it?

Vision Divine are, without a doubt, very talented and have put a lot of time into crafting a well-played, expertly produced album in Destination Set to Nowhere.  There just seems to be something missing, though.  One or two of the songs are certainly catchy, but after I listen to the album, I don’t really remember much other than a couple of lines or maybe a melody.  The execution is outstanding, but I guess the song writing just doesn’t do it for me.

Singer Fabio Lione (more well known for his other band Rhapsody of Fire) is the vocalist here.  He fits the music well, but constantly does something that bothers me.  Any time he holds a note for more than about a second, he goes to his vibrato.  I get that vibrato can be a “big deal” for a singer, but sometimes the music calls for a note sung with a straight pitch, especially in Metal.  He does it all the time and it gets tiresome.  It really turned me off for a lot of the songs.

The album is not without some high points.  Opener The Dream Maker is well executed and definitely shows the technical prowess of the musicians.  Here We Die is a speedy (mostly) number that also contains a meaty guitar solo.  I also appreciate Beyond the Sun and Far Away (nice melody during the chorus) and the ‘single’ from the album, Mermaids From Their Moons.  The band can write a song, for sure, but they just don’t stick with me for long. 

Here is Mermaids From Their Moons:

There are a number of bands who play the same style, have comparable quality, but write songs that are somewhat better and keep my attention.  Some of what I would call the “second tier” Prog/Power bands like DGM, Andromeda, or Darkwater are ones that I absolutely enjoy, whereas Circus Maximus or Seventh Wonder, along with Vision Divine, are just on the cusp and don’t end up being my “go to” bands in this style.  They aren’t bad groups by any means, but don’t quite write the songs that grab me.  If you are a hard core Prog Metal fan, I think you will like the album, otherwise, only get it if you have some extra cash.

I hear the sound in a METAL way.

-Harley

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