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Aug 22

Vision Divine – Destination Set To Nowhere (2012)

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Destination Set to Nowhere is a pretty stunning album, especially for something that started out as a side band. Although they’ve changed a lot to form the band they are today, their improvements have generally been for the better. September 14th, Vision Divine will release their seventh record Destination Set to Nowhere, a concept album revolving around the story of a man leaving Earth completely to escape a corrupt society (can’t say I blame him). The story progresses along throughout the album as the man and his companions travel through space to find a new place to start again.

There are different ways you could have discovered Vision Divine…their music, this album review, or from the members. Since the band consists of current and former members of bands such as Rhapsody of Fire, Labyrinth, Wonderland and White Skull, they’re not too difficult to come across. Olaf Thörsen originally set out to make a solo project under the name Symmetry, but turned out to be completely different than what he had imagined. Add fellow Labyrinth member Fabio Lione, and say goodbye to instrumentals, then add Mat Stancioiu and Andrew McPauls, you get a full band and a self titled demo. With the addition of Andrea Torricin on bass, the band released another self titled album, but this time under their new name “Vision Divine” (the original name of Labyrinth [Vision] plus the original name of Olaf’s solo album [Divine]).

If their country of origin wasn’t apparent by the song title (S’io Fosse Foco), the narrative voices would give it away. With a deep male voice booming Italian lyrics and a woman’s eerie English, it coincides with the image of the album cover masterfully. Between their dialect and the production of their voices, it truly feels like the beginning of an extraordinary trip through space…that or alien abduction. The first real “song” on the album The Dream Maker gives the first real perception of how Destination Set to Nowhere will sound as a whole. Although the impressive keyboard playing is the first thing that hits you, your attention is soon drawn away from that, and towards Fabio’s voice. Many vocalists have a problem with losing their voice over time, especially when they use their voice as much as Fabio uses his…but he seems to be completely above that rule. His range, note sustainability, and everything else are just as good, if not better, than his early Vision Divine/Rhapsody of Fire albums. Towards the end of the song, he takes a break from singing to allow the spotlight on the guitars and keyboards and give even more dimension to the album, rather than turning it into a hour long vocal solo.

Beyond the Sun and Far Away follows the theme of the album in song title and sound, but the effect is mostly carried on the shoulders of the keyboards. Throughout the album, they have done nothing but add a dynamic to each part of the song that includes them. Although the format of The Ark is similar to the previous two tracks (keyboard intro changes tempo when Fabio starts singing later in the song), it’s doesn’t repeat. Mermaids From their Moons breaks up the slight pattern with a ballad-like intro, starting with the softest part of the album, then blasting into the fastest part so far. The Lighthouse also goes in a slightly different direction, with a prominent bass and the attention drawn to the guitar, whereas Message to Home follows with a slightly less produced end result, with no extraneous effects on Fabio’s voice and the keyboard sounding more like an actual piano.

The way that the album stays with the theme in sound and feeling throughout is remarkable, but doesn’t stop at only physical instruments. Destination Set to Nowhere is very well produced, but not over produced to the point of the listener wondering if anyone in the band has even picked up anything with a neck and strings before. Every bit adds to the depth of the album, and makes it easy for the listener to get intertwined in each note. Also, each musician’s contribution coincides with the others’ very well, and everyone is able to represent their skill through each track in not just their playing, but their songwriting as well.

Style wise, Olaf’s guitar work in Vision Divine isn’t much different from his work in Labyrinth, while Fabio’s is more distant from his usual more Operatic vocals. Although he takes a different approach to singing than usual, his voice is no less beautiful than in Rhapsody of Fire. The album as a whole is different than average Power Metal which is nice, but the biggest thing going against the album is the slight repetition. Nonetheless, Destination Set to Nowhere is a great album, and should definitely be considered for purchase.

Current Lineup:
Fabio Lione – Vocals
Olaf Thörsen – Guitar
Cristiano Bertocchi – Bass
Federico Puleri – Guitar
Alessio “Tom” Lucatti – Keyboard
Alessandro “Bix” Bissa – Drums

Tracklist:

1. S’io Fosse Foco
2. The Dream Maker
3. Beyond The Sun And Far Away
4. The Ark
5. Mermaids From Their Moons
6. The Lighthouse
7. Message To Home
8. The House Of The Angels
9. The Sin Is You
10. Here We Die
11. Destination Set To Nowhere

 

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