Vision Divine – Destination Set To Nowhere
Fabio Lione has been unable to stay out of the press in recent memory, what with Rhapsody returning and splitting, as well as his brief tenure as Kamelot’s live replacement for Khan. Now that Tommy Karevik has joined Kamelot for good, you would think Lione would disappear off stage for a while, but no. September sees the new release of his other family: Vision Divine. And it is not be ignored.
Destination Set To Nowhere is a concept album around an idea that bands like Gamma Ray, Keldian, and Seventh Wonder have already flirted with: a group of people leave planet Earth to seek their fortune somewhere out in space, anywhere in the galaxy. A redshift, or great escape, if you will. The story is mostly presented through moods of adventure, loss, discovery, and tragedy, making the album a very emotionally engaging experience.
Now don’t reach for the tissues too soon, because this is still, first and foremost, a progressive power metal album. Continuing the more straightforward and accessible approach from 9 Degrees West Of The Moon, the intricacy of Vision Divine’s Michele Luppi-era is largely absent here. Yet where the predecessor often failed to find its footing, Destination Set To Nowhere sounds more confident and consistent, making the band’s new direction hardly lamentable.
From instant hits such as “Beyond The Sun And Far Away” and online single “Mermaids From Their Moons” to more introverted pieces like “The Ark” and “The Sin Is You”; almost every song on here packs heaps of melodic punch extending from verse to chorus. The melancholic atmosphere never becomes overbearing, and despite the tone, Destination Set To Nowhere is tons of fun to listen to. The ballad “Message To You” may fall short of the standard set before, but right around the corner is the wonderful “The House Of The Angels” to kick things back into gear.
Fabio Lione picked up a few tricks with Kamelot, as his performance here is more in tune to what Olaf Thörsen and his comrades are doing. He sounds more heartfelt and warm, miles away from the aggressive opera of Rhapsody Of Fire’s From Chaos To Eternity. Lione may have his detractors, but in my book he has proven himself over these last years to be a versatile and adept vocalist.
Even though Vision Divine was never really gone, Destination Set To Nowhere feels like a new mission statement. I’ve had my doubts about this album, considering the underwhelming 9 Degrees, but going forward, I will once again bury my skepticism and greet future material by this band with nothing but enthusiasm. Let’s just hope they don’t take that bit about “destination” and “nowhere” too literally and fly off into space.
Arno’s Rating: 4.0 out of 5