Vanishing Point – Distant Is The Sun (AFM Records)

Vanishing Point are back after a long break with their fifth studio effort and it's well worth the wait.
Release Date: 
21 Feb 2014 - 9:00am

The year was 2008; I was finally getting to see my all-time favourite band, Iron Maiden, for the first time live in Melbourne on the “Somewhere Back In Time” tour.  Travelling with Metal As Fuck’s own Scott Adams and Alan Sko I was introduced to this great melodic power metal band – Melbourne’s Vanishing Point, who were the support act that night.

I left that Maiden gig on a total high, but also thinking I must get some of the albums of this Vanishing Point.  So I scoured the internet to find their albums and managed to get their back catalogue (thank you Amazon and CD Universe).  So when Scott Adams (MaF Overlord), asked if I wanted to review the new Vanishing Point album, I jumped at the chance.

Distant Is The Sun, is the fifth effort from the boys from Melbourne and is a very solid outing.  The band has taken a difficult route to get here, having gone through a number of line-up changes and also a change of label in moving to AFM Records in the process.  This album has taken almost 7 years in the making since the last release of The Fourth Season.

In the band’s own words this album has a little more of a technical feel about it, while still retaining the magnificent melodic sound that is Vanishing Point.  I’d have to agree with that statement in comparison to previous albums.  For me though, I am not looking for technical brilliance from this band just the solid sound of their previous albums which make it an easy listening experience.  From the short intro track Beyond Redemption and leading into the first track King Of Empty Promises you can tell that solid sound is still alive and well.

Another thing that hasn’t changed in this release is Vanishing Point’s dedication to thoughtful lyrics and the brilliant voice of lead singer, Silvio Massaro. I always find Silvio’s voice a pleasure to listen to and once again it really drives this album; his harmonies are in full flight all over the record. Tony Kakko of Sonata Artica adds to the listening experience on Circle of Fire, further cementing the growing bond between the two bands (Sonata Artica having previously covered Two Minds One Soul, and having Vanishing Point as support act on a European tour).

The album has a good mix of up-tempo tracks and slower, almost operatic numbers with a heavier dose of keyboards then I remember on previous efforts though this doesn’t create a negative impact. Rounding out at just over an hour for 14 tracks, the album is good listening for fans of the band and for those who like the style of bands such as Dream Theater and Kamelot. After a number of listens the strongest tracks on album in my opinion are: Distant Is The Sun, Circle Of Fire, and Let The River Run.  I can see a number of tracks on this album continuing to get a high repetition on my playlist.