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Vision Divine: Stream of Consciousness

Formed in 1998 by Labyrinth guitarist Olaf Thorsen and future Rhapsody vocalist Fabio Lione, Italy's Vision Divine underwent some changes over the course of its first two albums but has now emerged with Stream of Consciousness, a strong progressive-metal disc with mainstream aspirations.

Weaving the tale of a madman in an asylum reflecting back on his path to insanity, Thorsen opens Stream of Consciousness with the main character scanning radio stations until settling on what sounds like a Whitney Houston tune (but isn't). Then comes "The Secret of Life," which introduces new singer Michele Luppi, a guy who possesses a strong and clear prog-metal voice – imagine an amalgam of Saga's Michael Sadler and Enchant's Ted Leonard, with mid-period Queensryche tendencies tossed in to keep things fun. Luppi is backed by memorable melodies, big choruses and enough power chords to make you pull out your air guitar. The heavier, longer songs are augmented by three shorter, softer instrumentals. Near the end, however, the album starts to drag.

Stream of Consciousness may be too melodic and polished for some listeners, but who cares? This is satisfying stuff and bodes well for this band's future. One of Metal Blade's best releases of 2004 ...

Track Listing:
1)Stream of Unconsciousness (0:57)
2) The Secret of Life (5:21)
3) Colours of My World (7:24)
4) In the Light (1:03)
5) The Fallen Feather (5:59)
6) La Vita Fugge (4:40)
7) Versions of the Same (4:43)
8) Through the Eyes of God (4:30)
9) Shades (5:59)
10) We Are, We Are Not (5:31)
11) Fool's Garden (1:51)
12) The Fall of Reason (1:48)
13) Out of the Maze (6:29)
14) Identities (5:367)
Total Time: 61:59

Added: June 11th 2004
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Official Vision Divine Web Site
Hits: 3248
Language: english

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Vision Divine: Stream of Consciousness
Posted by Dean Pierce, SoT Staff Writer on 2004-06-11 07:48:01
My Score:

Vision Divine: a band that desperately wanted to be a band. For all intents and purposes they were a band! Unfortunately some writers saw them as simply a Labyrinth/Rhapsody side project due to Olaf Thorsen and Andrew McPauls of Labyrinth, and Rhapsody's Fabio Lione being in the band. Despite releasing 2 very strong albums Vision Divine, and Send Me An Angel and doing tours, they seemed to be stuck with "side project" tag. To me that was really a shame…

Olaf Thorsen obviously believed in his Vision Divine and left Labyrinth to concentrate on that vision. Unfortunately the band fell apart with Andrew, and drummer Mat Stancioiu leaving the band. Then Fabio's commitment to Rhapsody began to interfere with his working with Vision Divine and sadly he had to leave as well. Fabio did remain with Vision Divine up through the demo stages of the upcoming album. An mp3 appeared on the Official Brazilian Vision Divine site. The song was titled "Colours Of My World", and in reality this song was only said to be a part of a single composition! This new album was only supposed to be one long song! From the sound of this demo, this new album promised to be even more progressive sounding than they had ever been before! The album's title turned out to be Stream Of Consciousness.

But now they were practically without a band! Enter Michele Luppi as the new vocalist. Filling the shoes of Fabio Lione (who I would like to add is this reviewer's favorite vocalist on the planet) is certainly a tremendous challenge! But Michele handles the vocals on this album like a total pro! This guy graduated from VIT in L.A., and certainly has a world of talent. The new keyboardist Oleg Smirnoff (ex Eldritch, presently Death ss) comes in and continues the tradition of the tornado like brilliance that has always been a part of Vision Divine's music. He locks in very well with Thorsen as they spew forth dazzling instrumental runs all over this album.

The melodies on this album are very very strong. Songs (or should I say chapters?) such as "Colours Of My World" and "La Vita Fugge" come across with quite a bit of exuberance. Now to these chapters, this album must have a story right?

Well here we have 14 chapters to this story. The story deals with a man in a cell at an Asylum. We are taken into a flashback, after singing a song that the guard was playing on the radio. Through this journey, we find out just what led him from living a normal life, to his life of insanity. Accompanied by his Guardian Angel (his conscience), he embarked on a journey in search of truth and knowledge. The chapters follow this journey through the consciousness, which ultimately ends where we begin, the insanity. The 2 Identities, the Angel and the man becoming one in whatever one could call what's left of his life. Was all the knowledge gained worth it, only to end in insanity? Find out more by opening your own consciousness and listening to this tale from the pen of Olaf Thorsen!

This is truly Vision Divine pulling victory from the jaws of defeat! With Metal Blade coming in to give them even stronger distribution throughout the world, a simply dazzling album some of the finest in progressive metal, and a revamped lineup; this band is ready to take flight and soar even higher than ever!

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