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Vanishing Point - The Fourth Season CD (album) cover


Vanishing Point

Progressive Metal

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The T
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars A very entertaining if somewhat formulaic album.

Australia's VANISHING POINT play traditional by-the-book progressive metal. Longer-than-average songs, virtuosic performances, lush keyboards and pianos (even though there's no mention of any keyboardist in the booklet, not even as a guest musician), good vocal harmonies and some interesting bass lines.

But, at the same time, the band plays by the rules but never dares to break them or go too far with them. Their songs are longer than the usual metal track but never reach the 6 minute mark. Their solos are good but never dazzle the listener, neither are they really that extended. Keyboards are mostly used for background purposes. The vocal melodies are catchy but never adventurous, and the harmonies are very simple, even if they tend to sound attractive.

The main influences I can detect in this band's sound are DREAM THEATER (though not as evident as in other groups), SYMPHONY X, EVERGREY, POVERTY'S NO CRIME, and power-metal outfits like DRAGONFORCE or classics like IRON MAIDEN. VANISHING POINT, though, actually manages to have a sound of their own, even if kind of formulaic. The band has, in a way, dissected the sound of all of those influences, stripped them of much of their flashiness and pomp, and come up with a collection of songs that achieve a basic goal: entertain the listener. What this music fails to do is to captivate one's attention as there's really not much to read between the lines but what's evident and presented to us. In that matter, the closest reference for their sound would be late-EVERGREY, a band also notorious for playing the safest brand of progressive-metal (especially in their still-excellent "The Inner Circle" and their atrocious "Monday Morning Apocalypse").

And to EVERGREY we return when we want to describe the vocals of VANISHING POINT. Massaro sounds like a mix of that band's Englund with Russell Allen and, at times, a little bit of PAIN OF SALVATION's Daniel Gildenlow. Massaro's voice is fine and is pleasing, though never amazes. The same can be said of the rest of the band. The drums are played with precision but there's barely a moment when we can say we heard the musician do something really unique. The guitars are fast and the solos are very melodic, yet short and safe. The bass never tries anything out of the ordinary. Finally, the keyboards, which add atmosphere and drama to the music, aren't even acknowledged in the booklet. If one only reads it, it would seem this band doesn't include pianos or keys. But it only takes 2 seconds into the album to notice their existence (the entire opening riff of the disc is supported by keyboards(?!).

The songs are written in pretty standard verse-chorus-verse structures. The choruses are quite catchy and melodic, at times epic and heroic, and are usually the best parts of each one of the tracks. The chorus for the first song, Embodiment, is a clear example of EVERGREY's and Englund's influence on this band, at least on this record.

To sum it up, "The Fourth Season" is a good but not great album. Progressive but not much, powerful but not much, it's saved by the good hooks of its songs which create a very enjoyable experience. I think 3 stars will do just fine.

Report this review (#173252)
Posted Saturday, June 7, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars Vanishing Point forth album since now named The forth season from 2007. Hmm, kinda let down from previous two albums, I don't know what happend here but the compositions are like the same with each other, no diversity in their prog metal with power metal leanings. The good ideas lacks here, less intristing and captivating, usual album, even in their catalogue no to mention in prog metal scene. From here I can extract only 3-4 pieces as more choesive and enjoyble than on Tangled in dream (their best so far, to me at least).Embodiment,Behind The Open Door and the last track A Day Of Difference are the best, the rest are ok but nothing special to my ears. So finaly a good album overall but nothing outstanding here, 3 stars nothing more.
Report this review (#238674)
Posted Friday, September 11, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars All I can say about this album, The Fourth Season, is 'Wow!' The first time I listened to it, I was speeding down a highway, and let me tell you, what perfect music for such an event. I see the music on this album as an accompaniment to action scenes in an epic movie or video game. But of course, this music surely can stand on its own, as well as every member of this band.

Vanishing Point, a progressive metal band hailing from Australia, has been making music together for over a decade. And with their fourth album release, it is quite apparent. Polyrhythmic beats and lots of double bass from the drummer, driving bass, great guitar riffs, great guitar solos, melodic keyboard passages, and a vocalist who isn't afraid to put himself out there, this album provides the entire package of what progressive metal is.

The production of this album is superb. Everything is mixed well, and the listener can hear all parts, especially the vocals. Speaking of the vocals, his voice is very melodic and the background vocals are written and executed very well. Instrumentally, this band plays together very well, and all members can easily stand on their own as great musicians. Their music is intelligently written. The forms of their songs make sense, and their melodies are well written. The only gripe I have is that I can predict their harmonic progression and feel where the music is going before it gets there.

Hopefully this album will give the band more attention as progressive metal artists. This could be the breakthrough they need.

Report this review (#377226)
Posted Sunday, January 9, 2011 | Review Permalink

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