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Vision Divine - 9 Degrees West Of The Moon (CD)

Vision Divine
9 Degrees West Of The Moon
by Grigoris Chronis at 23 January 2009, 1:13 PM

When Olaf Thorsen started VISION DIVINE as a solo project, did he ever imagine how far this project would travel? Then being the guitarist for Italian Progressive Power Metal act LABYRINTH (still is, not to be misunderstood) did he thought, I wonder, how equal (in sales and recognition) this brainchild would prove to be? VISION DIVINE is soon to let their new album loose; 9 Degrees West Of The Moon copies will feature the Frontiers Records logo in the back cover and that's interesting news.
None other than Timo Tolkki (STRATOVARIUS, REVOLUTION RENAISSANCE) handles the production of this new VISION DIVINE album; the third in a row. This is something that should not cross your mind when listening to the album prior to recalling this name, but if aware enough things/factors shall let you match the pieces. Truth is the sound is crystal clear and the music is revealed in pure honesty and candour. A music leaning in a more melodic Power Metal direction with lots of melodies and the most polished vocals ('polished' is a word referring to Timo Kotipelto's singing in the STRATOVARIUS discography) ever heard by Fabio Lione (RHAPSODY OF FIRE, ATHENA and the vocalist of LABYRINTH in their Piece Of Time and No Limits early releases) while another representative portrait should refer to a more uncomplicated version of DREAM THEATER's  James LaBrie. In any way, he does sound crystal clear, his throat remains in top form, he lives and breathes the words he sings, he's operatic when needed and does seem to step on simple Rock singing patterns in more mild parts.
The good thing with VISION DIVINE (and LABYRINTH, in my humble opinion) is that their music seems to be in the intelligent Power/Prog Metal vein but is 100% differentiated from the usual 'teutonic' Metal patterns. The same tradition is apparent here…and not only. Olaf is a very smart and passionate composer - whoever's familiar with his works all these years can verify so. In 9 Degrees West Of The Moon he does mix heaviness, progression and dominance all in one, gladly comfortable now that Fabio's again in the VISION DIVINE camp. The album is watertight, with an undefined integrity yet (and due to, of course) an unlimited variety; it can start from being Italian Power Metal, then go melodic Scandianavian Heavy Metal, then to unveil a more Progressive face, then again to rest in mild heavy Rock places. As if the well of resources is in Olaf's mind, the album features all things needed to evolve to the next - and bigger/greater - level in the VISION DIVINE history. Even if you're a grand fan of e.g. the Mediterranean side of Metal or not, truth is the quality of 9 Degrees West Of The Moon sticks to your guts in a set of nine-plus-one songs that will surely make you keep the CD spinning non-stop.
Recalculating: nine excellent VISION DIVINE creations (with kick-ass keyboards arrangements, not to forget!) plus a winning rendition on JUDAS PRIEST's Touch Of Evil sums it up to…one of the best VISION DIVINE and Italian Heavy/Power/Prog Metal releases of the last two decades (do not touch the 80s please, xaxa!). The band has gone slightly more 'mainstream' or 'melodic' (remember the Timo Tolkki reference?) and with a proper promotion/distribution (a familiar weapon in Frontiers' hands) 9 Degrees West Of The Moon shall bring even more people into their fan base. A really fine release this one is.

P.S.: Out In Open Space may score a grand hit if treated good by the Media.

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
Letter To My Child Never Born
Violet Loneliness
Fading Shadow
Angels In Disguise
The Killing Speed Of Time
The Streets Of Laudomia
Fly
Out In Open Space
9 Degrees West Of The Moon
A Touch Of Evil
Fading Shadow (Demo Version) (Bonus Track)
Lineup:
Fabio Lione - Vocals
Olaf Thorsen - Guitar
Federico Puleri - Guitar
Cristiano Bertocchi - Bass
Alessio Lucatti - Keyboards
Alessandro Bissa - Drums
Record Label: Frontiers Records
     


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