Here we are, having one of the most new hot names in the grind scene, releasing a record this month. The band is Nails, and they’ve been rocking around California for the past five years!
So here we have another underrated progressive/power band with a steady course and pretty good releases. In the band we have also members of Labyrinth (guitarist Olaf Thörsen and drummer Alessandro Bissa) and of course the great Fabio Lione -whom we’ve known from Rhapsody of Fire- is handling the vocal duties. Only for the period between 2004 and 2008 Leone wasn’t singing with Vision Divine and had been replaced by Michele Luppi. The ex-bass player of Labyrinth Cristiano Bertocchi was also playing in the band in the last two albums but is not in the band anymore. The fans of Labyrinth and Rhapsody Of Fire should check definitely out this band.
Vision Divine is more of a power metal band but the technical skills and especially the progressive tendencies of Olaf Thorsen who is the founder of the band show a lot in the final result. I think this album is really a straighter power metal album with heavy riffing, dual guitar solos, keyboard solos, fast and powerful drumming and soaring vocals. Most tracks on this album are around four or five minutes, so the tracks are straight to the point and have little less of the progressive elements.
The highlights of the album come from guitar work from the two guitar players, Olaf Thörsen and Federico Puleri. Verse sections show heavy riffing while the choruses gives us many catchy parts. The chorus sections see the guitarists simplifying the riffs, using mostly power chords and keeping them catchy. The solos are mostly fast and technical, reminded often of Luca Turilli with sweeping arpeggios and really fast scale work.
That which gives a little bit prog feeling to the songs is the excellent work of keyboard player Alessio Lucatti. He is always playing what is necessary for the song from atmospheric to orchestral layering during verses, to the piano lines during slower sections. His solo sections especially on the duels with the guitars remind often of Stratovarius. The rhythm section is also great, it gives the traditional power metal rhythm. Thick bass which follows mostly the guitar lines, giving a more dynamic volume to the heavy riffs. The drums are dominantly fast paced, with a lot of double bass running and high speed rolls as we know it from classical power metal bands. It truly shines on the heavier and faster parts.
Fabio Lione’s performance on this record is also a highlight. I think this man whatever he sings he makes it shine. Really awesome singer. If you’ve never listened to his singing it is really enjoyable and you get blown away every time to hear his clear and melodic performances. “Destination Set to Nowhere” shows Lione utilizing his more melodic, higher register style.The only negative with him is that sometimes you can hear a little bit too much from his Italian accent. Also on the more catchier tracks like “The Dream Maker” and “The Ark”, Liones voice fits them perfectly. I think the band can’t find a better singer and would be great if he would stay this time. The album really hasn’t any weak tracks, this is why I didn’t analyze all tracks so that everyone who likes melodic power metal with some progressive touches and great vocals lines and performances will check it out.
|Track List||Line Up||
01. S’i Fosse Foco
02. The Dream Maker
03. Beyond the Sun and Far Away
04. The Ark
05. Mermaids from Their Moons
06. The Lighthouse
07. Message to Home
08. The House of the Angels
09. The Sin Is You
10. Here We Die
11. Destination Set to Nowhere
Olaf Thörsen – Guitars
Andrea “Tower Torricini – Bass
Alessio “Tom” Lucatti – Keyboards
Alessandro “Bix” Bissa – Drums
Federico Puleri – Guitars
Fabio Lione – Vocals