|Review: Vision Divine - The 25th Hour|
|The 25th Hour|
Label: Scarlet Records
Year released: 2007
Genre: Progressive Power Metal
Review online: June 19, 2007
Reviewed by: Bruce Dragonchaser
for:The 25th Hour
Rated 4.4/5 (88%) (15 Votes)
One of the best bands ever to emerge in this scene – or in any for that matter – Italian prog-power metallers Vision Divine are finally back with their splendid fifth album, following nicely from 2005's futuristically charged "The Perfect Machine", and topping it by at least 100ft. A rarity in music these days is a band that can out do each release in ways unimagined, and Vision Divine can turn that ability on like a faucet. Musically, "The 25th Hour" stands closer to the fabulous "Stream of Consciousness" than to its follow up; being generally a more melodic affair, with plenty of mammoth orchestrations, ridiculously catchy choruses and unforgettable guitar riffs. Olaf Thorson has come a long way since his Labyrinth days, but, as usual, there are still elements of his old unit peppering the proceedings. The progression has been kicked up a notch too, with tracks like "Alpha & Omega" and the opening title track parading some of the most technically challenging and disjointed instrumentation the band have ever attempted.
Truly, it's hard to pick highlights as the whole album has something fresh and exciting to offer; but "Eyes of a Child" with its fierce, speedy delivery and the intensely catchy "A Perfect Suicide" win the cheese for me so far. As with all VD releases, it's going to take a few weeks for it to sink in – "The 25th Hour" continues the story of "Stream of Consciousness" somewhat – so if you asked me in a month my opinion will have changed more than the tides.
Vocalist extraordinaire Michele Luppi has the best voice in the genre, and on here he doesn't let us forget it; screaming until his lungs burst from sheer emotion one minute, then serenading us the next with a tense, unbeatable perception. Production wise, this is possibly their greatest sounding yet, with synths, guitars and drums surfing delightfully together under the waves of vocal harmonies and subtle orchestration.
A wonder to behold and another triumph from the band I just cannot get enough of, anyone with half a brain needs to pick this up. A bona fide masterpiece of slick, melodic, intelligent power metal that will have you lost in its marvels forever and a day.
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