|Review: Vision Divine - Send Me an Angel|
|Send Me an Angel|
Label: Atrheia Records
Year released: 2002
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: January 10, 2010
Reviewed by: Christopher Foley
for:Send Me an Angel
Rated 4.25/5 (85%) (12 Votes)
Often overlooked amidst the back catalogue, Send Me an Angel has a habit of being turned away in favor of the releases Vision Divine would go on to make with Michele Luppi. At the time this was the last album the Italians would do with Power Metal champion Fabio Lione, and in my opinion stands as the best they recorded with him. Hot on the heels of their self-titled debut and of course, seen as Labyrinth mark II – which wouldn't have been hard to see at the time, a majority of the members in Vision Divine at the time were ex-Labyrinth. Obviously at this time the Italian scene was brimming with talent and everyone was riding on the coattails of Legendary Tales and Return to Heaven Denied (turns out they're making a sequel...) which makes it surprisingly harder to see why this album remains quite the hidden gem in the Italian scene, considering the band boasted both Fabio Lione and Olaf Thorsen.
Compared to their debut (which in all honesty I could never get into) this was the first time Vision Divine got the ingredients right, fortunately something they would continue to keep up to this very day. Whereas the debut was really in the vein of Labyrinth I think Vision Divine came into their own with Send Me an Angel, the guitar work featured is considerably better as are Fabio's vocals whom takes a slighty more aggressive approach this time around. The keyboards are tastefully handled here and are never too overpowering which is something I can commend this album for, in fact every instrument is handled adeptly but the one thing in common is that they never become annoying or cheesy. I've always seen Vision Divine as a classy act and I find their music really artistic, they really took on what I loved about Return to Heaven Denied and improved on it to the point of arguably outdoing it – although the jury's still out on that one. There's really a lot of good times to be had with Send Me an Angel, in fact the only fault I can find here is their decidedly gay choice of cover song, although it's easily remedied with the good old skip button.
Obviously if Italian Power Metal was never for you this album really won't change your opinion, but for any self-respecting prog/power fan who might have let this slip you really need to sort your life out and hunt down a copy because this is damn cool. Some of the best songs Vision Divine ever did feature on here, the title track, "Pain", "Apocalypse Coming", I could go on. While not the heaviest, or most technical release in the genre there's something really special about Send Me an Angel. Boasting infinite charm, flawless composition and arrangement, and of course stands as the next best answer to Return to Heaven Denied. This is an album about the music and the songs, void of some of the over flamboyant showmanship that can be found in the genre. Recommended.
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