Rating:
7.0
Vanishing Point - Distant Is The Sun
21 February 2014


01. Beyond Redemption (Intro)
02. King Of Empty Promises
03. Distant Is The Sun
04. When Truth Lies
05. Circle Of Fire
06. Let The River Run
07. Denied Deliverance
08. Story Of Misery
09. Era Zero
10. Pillars Of Sand
11. As December Fades
12. Handful Of Hope
13. Walls Of Silence
14. April [Instrumental]


The more releases of this genre I get to listen to, the more I realize how difficult it is to release a great symphonic power metal album. Vanishing Point's latest is a bright example of this.

Distant Is The Sun marks the band's return, after seven years from The Fourth Season, and without founder axe Tommy Vucur, with only vocalist Silvio Massaro and guitarist Chris Porcianko standing as long-time members.

The instrumental intro immediately conveys what the album's soul will be: far from the happier style of power metal, Distant Is The Sun introduces itself as an elaborate, melancholic opus of melodic metal. This cheerful genre's usual brightness is replaced by shades of grey, with a gloomy atmosphere, reminiscent of the last Royal Hunt release, impregnating every single note.

The album alternates faster, prog-influenced tracks that manage to charm the listener being multi-layered and enriched by symphonic elements which are held at bay in the production, and more rock-ish, slower tracks, when keyboards find their space. This, however, can't help the feeling of a motionless album, stuck in a steady emotional deliver and a cohesive but sometimes monotonous musical offering.

The Australian quintet doesn't push itself too far regarding the technique, also because the album's sound isn't really needing this, even if a solo or two displaying a bit more wankery would have been appreciated. Christian Nativo is noticeable from behind the skins, also thanks to a production that unexpectedly lowers Massaro's vocals in favour of a stronger drumming, giving the music a much-needed higher gear.

What takes the wind off this album's sails, in the long run, is that many of the tracks seem to be going nowhere. Many have a strong intro and, just when the listener is ready and willing for an explosion, the songs reallocate in the middle-ground standard the band is forcing them. Not even the collaboration with Sonata Arctica's Tony Kakko manages to bring some freshness: on the contrary, it turns out being one of the weaker and uninspired tracks in here, with Tony proving once again what a hard time he has as soon as he leaves Sonata Arctica's strongholds.

Distant Is The Sun is not a bad release, but an excessive playing time, the lack of ideas and the similarity between one track with another make it a huge achievement to reach the album's end in only one spin. Playing melodic power metal is not an excuse for playing weak power metal, and albums like this one can't help a band like Vanishing Point to emerge from the ocean of power metal bands to ascend to fame. Nothing shattering though.

Performance: 7
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 6
Production: 9


Band profile: Vanishing Point
Album: Distant Is The Sun


 



Written on 28.04.2014 by
R Lewis
Hopefully you won't agree with me, diversity of opinions is what makes metal so beautiful and varied.

So... critics and advices absolutely welcome.
More reviews by R Lewis ››



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Ag Fox - 29.04.2014 at 20:58  
Fair review that I agree with
atkmetal123 - 02.05.2014 at 13:11  
Hmm I guess I won't buy this one :-/, thanks for the review Lewis.

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