Vision Divine - When All the Heroes are Dead

Vision Divine When All the Heroes are Dead cover
Vision Divine
When All the Heroes are Dead
Scarlet Records
Vision Divine are an unlucky bunch. They were mostly active in the earlier part of their career producing albums almost every other year, since their conception, while “When All the Heroes...” is the first album in more than seven years. Also after having people like Fabio Lione and Michelle Luppi manning the mic on your albums, replacing them with Derdian’s Ivan Giannini, who is by all means not bad, but has a more prominent accent and is a little less agile, vocally feels like a slight setback.
The core duo of the band being Labyrinth’s Olaf Thörsen and bassist Andrea “Tower” Torricini, who’s been around some (ie Angels of Babylon and Tommy Vitaly) is still around anchoring the band to its past and coming up with songs, which after a few spins tend to settle in nicely, for the most part. Federico Puleri, formerly of Seven Gates, does aid on the guitar department. Alessio Lucatti, currently with the excellent Deathless Legacy, is embellishing a lot of compositions with very purposeful keyboard parts, without overplaying and Mike Terrana, (“I’ve drummed for more bands than I can throw a drumstick at”), is an excellent – well proven solution behind the kit, without really having to go for the jugular on this material either.
“Insurgent” is a fantastic intro, cinematic almost in scope that throws the listener into the fray with, the “26th Machine” a piece that manages to encompass all of the Italian’s past in on nice tune, with a rousing chorus. Polished, clean and fairly interesting.
“3 Men Walk on the Moon” celebrates the moon landing (typically 2 of them did – but I understand the poetic license) is a rather more prog inclined mid-tempo roller, with enough sweeping action mainly from the keys to sound majestic and grandiose still.
“Fall From Grace” is a lot more dramatic, but without having to resolve to using majorly minor moods, but the far more prog and lyrical “Where I God” is a song that really shines as being one of the better tunes on offer here.
While the title track, “When All the Heroes are Dead”, ticks all boxes, is less impressive than one would expect, maybe cuz it’s too much in tune with the rest of the material, but not as impressive with such a mouthful for a chorus, it however has some nice trade off solos.
“While the Sun is Turning Black” is a ballad that turns into a “power ballad”, and while it’s impressive enough with some nice solos and all, it once again feel a little too by the numbers.
“The King of the Sky” is a lot more straightforward power metal in the vein of say Helloween, if they were too infatuated with pasta…
 “On the Ides of March” smooths things out, with a more melodic touches and reserved verses, only letting go for the chorus.
Another piece that touches upon a historical event, is “300” obviously referring to the stand of 300 Spartans and no more than a thousand allies at Thermopylae against an army that was at least quarter of a million strong. It is nice, but the “aoooooh” chants that are a cinematic inventions, I found really cringeworthy and spoiling an otherwise decent, if not a little too cheery in places power metal track.
Lastly, “The Nihil Propaganda” reprises the theme of the intro musically, over half a song in English and another half being some dramatically spoken part in Italian.
While it’s a worthwhile effort, it’s not without a few minor flaws, which spoil it and with such a long time between releases for a band that never got recognized as a scene leader, despite having the talent, it feels a little vainly vainglory. Not as much, a little more than a little too late in a musical scene that feels like quickly shifting quicksand. Still, a fair release…