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Vision Divine - "Destination Set To Nowhere" (CD)

Vision Divine - "Destination Set To Nowhere" CD cover image

"Destination Set To Nowhere" track listing:

1. S'io Fosse Foco (1:51)
2. The Dream Maker (5:03)
3. Beyond The Sun And Far Away (3:58)
4. The Ark (5:42 )
5. Mermaids Fom Their Moons (5:23)
6. The Lighthouse (4:38)
7. Message To Home (6:17)
8. The House Of The Angels (5:11)
9. The Sin Is You (4:38)
10. Here We Die (4:15)
11. Destination Set To Nowhere (4:17)

Reviewed by on August 18, 2012

"The ability to keep a core sound while progressing should be the goal of every musician, as should be the ability to redefine the sound to keep it fresh and interesting. Vision Divine has done this...again."

Any fan of symphonic, power, and/or progressive metal simply has to be impressed with the multitude of gems spewing forth in 2012. Seemingly every notable band that has released an album thus far has exceeded expectations, especially those bands whose past performances forced them a little higher. It has been three long years since Italy’s Vision Divine released “9 Degrees West of the Moon,” so the expectations for “Destination Set to Nowhere” were high enough from the fans, but nothing compared to what composer Olaf Thörsen places on himself. Well, Olaf can rest easy. With top notch writing, crystal clear production, and the always stunning vocals of Fabio Lione, “Destination Set to Nowhere” easily ranks among the band’s best releases.

Though many will likely pigeon hole Vision Divine into the power/progressive genre, the soundtrack to this science fiction tale draws influences from a wide spectrum of music. At its true core, Genesis (“The House of Angels”), Marillion (“Destination Set to Nowhere”), and Fates Warning (“The Ark”) can be heard gleefully gushing through Tom Lucatti’s molten keys like liquid beauty oozing through the mesh of Thörsen’s heavy riffs. And like a Maraschino cherry on the top of a progressive metal sundae, Fabio Lione proves why he is arguably the greatest voice in metal. But fear not power fans, your urge is fully satisfied on “Here We Die” and one of the album’s best tracks “The Lighthouse.”

The album’s story is set in space, through humanity’s journey to another world to escape social-political troubles of the home world, only to discover that man’s cyclical nature makes the new home the same hell. At the end, one man sets out again, but now his new destination is set to nowhere. If the story itself doesn’t draw you in, then the compositions certainly will. There are the pure emotion in songs like “Mermaids From Their Moons,” the eerie sci-fi synths and blistering solo that anchors Lione’s finest vocal performance in “Message to Home,” and the chorus of “The Ark,” which cascades like a waterfall into the charging latter day Maiden riffs. The standout song on the release is “Destination Set to Nowhere,” a define-less progressive ballad that could easily find itself on Marillion’s “Clutching At Straws” and which so effectively captures the raw feeling of the protagonist in his last moments before setting of on his journey with no destination.

The ability to keep a core sound while progressing should be the goal of every musician, as should be the ability to redefine the sound to keep it fresh and interesting. Vision Divine has done this...again. To think that Olaf Thörsen considered giving up music at the moment he heard Fates Warning’s “Parallels” only leaves me wondering just how sad the world would be without a Vision Divine.

Highs: Beautiful classic progressive elements blended with driving riffs.

Lows: Fans of pure power might find this a bit "proggy."

Bottom line: Vision Divine's destination is set, but it's nowhere near nowhere.

Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls
4.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)