VISION DIVINE "The Perfect Machine" /CD/

The fourth full-length album by the Italian Power/Progressive Metal band.
Former Labyrinth guitarist Olaf Thorsen and his band Vision Divine have slowly built up a reputation as a solid Progressive/Power Metal band who had sort of a revolving door problem with members coming and going, causing the band to be referred to merely as a side project. Once Thorsen left Labyrinth for good to concentrate solely on Vision Divine, original vocalist Fabio Leone left to spend all his time with Rhapsody. In came vocalist Michele Luppi for 2004's "Stream Of Consciousness" on Metal Blade Records, and with that album the band seemed to solidify their line-up. 2005 sees the release of "The Perfect Machine" on Scarlet Records, and Thorsen, Luppi, guitarist Federico Puleri, keyboard player Oleg Smirnoff and bassist Andrea "Tower" Torricini (they have recently added a touring keyboard player and drummer), have put together a powerful concept album featuring soaring vocals and keyboard passages, progressive guitar playing, and memorable melodies!
The story centers on the year 2043, and revolves around a biologist named Arnaldo Mattei, whose work with gentic code and DNA leads to a discovery of a way to get genes to never stop regenerating and repairing themselves, ultimately leading the world towards a cure for all natural diseases. This results in immortality basically, creating what humans are now called, "the perfect machine". It's a neat story, and fans of these sort of complex concept piece will have fun following along with the lyrics.
Musically, this band is really finding their form, with guitars and keyboards sharing equal footing in the importance of the overall sound. The dual leads and harmonies from Thorsen and Puleri work really well together on songs like "Rising Sun" and "Ancestor's Blood", and although the riffs never get too heavy, they add enough power to the mostly symphonic arrangements. Vision Divine never go as overboard as Rhapsody does with the over the top Speedy & Symphonic arrangements, which is a good thing. What works so well here as well is the way that singer Luppi and keyboard player Smirnoff play off each others melodic strengths. Both absolutely soar on the lovely "Here In 6048", as Luppi's vocals, which remind of Michael Sadler of Saga meets former Styx singer Dennis DeYoung, reach for the stars alongside Smirnoff's majestic piano and synth stylings. The heaviest piece on the album is probably the raging Power Metal of "River", featuring pounding rhythms, chugging guitar riffs, and stabbing keyboard lines.
"The Perfect Machine" was produced by Timo Tolkki from Stratovarius, and for the most part is a pretty good sounding release. The album certainly more melodic, Symphonic and Progressive than many other releases in the genre. Those who like Sci-Fi/Fantasy Progressive Metal with tons of melody and Symphonic elements would be well advised to seek this out!!
Science-fiction and Prog-Power collide here to form yet another genre classic, and if you haven't heard it yet, go out and get it. Yet another work of art from one the genre's greatest bands!!!
Scarlet Records/Mystic Empire/Mazzar Records, 2005/2007 (MYST CD 286). Made in Russia. Please note: although the CD is new and has never been played, there are light visual shabby on the disc surface, happened during transit, which will not affect the sound quality.

1. The Perfect Machine     07:58
2. First Day of a Never-Ending Day     06:13 
3. The Ancestor's Blood     05:53 
4. Land of Fear     04:25
5. God is Dead     05:21
6. Rising Sun     05:23
7. Here in 6048     06:32
8. The River     04:29
9. Now That You've Gone     05:59
Total playing time: 52:13

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