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AnVision - Astral Phase CD (album) cover

ASTRAL PHASE

AnVision

Progressive Metal


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ProgShine
COLLABORATOR
Errors & Omissions and Crossover Team
3 stars AnVision is a Polish band formed in 2007 in the city of Tarnów. This is actually the band's first full length album. Before they had released an EP called Eyes Wide Shut (2010).

Astral Phase (2012) is self-produced and it was recorded at the Raven Studio between November 2011 and March 2012 and finally released in August 31st 2012 by the Empire 18 label. The album was mixed and mastered by Marcin Szwajcer and the interesting artwork showing hands growing from the ground belongs to Piotr Szafraniec.

AnVision is formed by Marqus (vocals), Greg (guitars), Art (bass), Larz (drums) and Lukas (synthesizers). They also had the helping hand of Sylwek Malinowski on the percussions. AnVision follows pretty much the Prog Metal path, but with a twist. Their songs are a little bit more melodic than the average Prog Metal.

According to the band, Astral Phase (2012) is a musical journey of an Astronaut. This man travels in time and space, also between life and death and ends up reaching out to our feelings, deep thoughts, hidden dreams and memories. A deep concept. To make things clear and begin with the concept 'The Astronaut' was chosen to open the album, and again, not as heavy as we would expect of a Prog Metal band. Marek's vocals are a bit weird in the beginning, but at the time of 'S.O.D.', the second track, you're used to his singing.

'Family Ties' continues in the melodic field but 'Mental Suicide' gives Astral Phase (2012) a twist, heavy on the Grzegorz's guitars and on the Marcin's drums rhythm pattern. One of the most interesting tracks on the album. It's interesting to notice the Lukas' keyboards, kinda shy, in the background, but very important to the band's sound.

'Mercitron' is a continuation of the previous track and besides the melodic beginning it is another track when it comes to the heavy side. The middle of the song has a deep special guitar solo tough. 'I Can't Live Without My Love' is an acoustic ballad packed with acoustic guitars and a melodic guitar solo. The track is too long and it is also the weakest on the album.

The band cleverly chose 'I Have No Fear' to close Astral Phase (2012), cause it is one of the strongest tracks on the album with a good introduction and smart ideas. It is also the longest of the album tracks with nearly 9 minutes.

AnVision's Astral Phase (2012) is not a groundbreaking record, but it is well produced, well recorded, well written and well played by good musicians. On top of that, the band was wise enough to record an album with 50 minutes instead of filling the 80 minutes available, smart.

If you're up to the melodic side of the Progressive Metal, AnVision is your band!

(Originally posted on progshine.net)

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Send comments to ProgShine (BETA) | Report this review (#1019803)
Posted Saturday, August 17, 2013 | Review Permalink
b_olariu
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3 stars Anvision from Poland is another one of the young bands from this country who manage to gain some reputation with their first full lenght release from 2012 named Astral phase. I think that Poland is one of the most prolific countries in last 2 decades from Europe when comes to progressive rock, specially neo/prog metal scene. Every year appears more and more bands, some of them realy good. Anvision is for sure a very promissing band in this realm. They play a type of prog metal combined with neo prog flavour or vice versa, something between Riverside or Osada Vida with Kinght Area atmosphere. There are some heavy riffs but are very well integrated in the melodic parts of the music with nice elaborated passages and good musicianship. All tunes are more then ok, no really highlits here, maybe Mental Suicide or the ending longest track I Have No Fear are among intresting ones. All in all good debut from this polish band, definetly I'll have an eye on their music on the future, nice intresting art work. 3 stars , maybe 3,5 in places.

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Send comments to b_olariu (BETA) | Report this review (#1043523)
Posted Wednesday, September 25, 2013 | Review Permalink
4 stars Besides the similarities with Dream theater, AnVision has managed to create an excellent album, in fact it adds a more atmospheric style and a very different voice, not a high pitch tone which characterizes the latter, but a more moderate voice.

The album opens with 'The Astronaut' with a small introduction which reminds me of Jean Michel Jarré, and it's an invitation to the trip you are about to take. Then, a good solo guitar pays the way for the singer to start doing his job as a good traveller narrating his story. Soon, there's a change in the style and the distortion indicates a maximum adventure of this trip. I think it's an excellent song to begin with.

Then we have SOD with a more metal sound, a more powerful guitar and a keyboard joining in with space effects. Good track indeed.

The third track is "Family Ties" with a more melodic rhythm, a good song that maintains the same rhythm all the way through.

"Mental Suicide" is one of the best songs in the album, it starts aggressive, then we have a sudden change that lowers the rhythm to give the opportunity to the voice to do its part, then it rises again for the chorus, pretty much Dream Theater alike. The solo is strong, aggressive and lunatic honoring the title.

"Mercitron" counts with good progressions and changes of mood from decisive to climatic moments, another good track in the album.

"I Can't Live Without My Love" is very clear, the ballad of the album. A song with a quiet guitar melody, an so does the voice. It has a small change when all the instruments join in and a good electric guitar solo. Not the best ballad in the world, but a good song to change the mood of the album.

"I Have No Fear" is the longest track of the album, it retakes again the powerful style that is highlighted in most of the album. In the middle of the song there's an intermission with piano that sounds really good with the rest of the instruments and again, bringing a small variation to the music. A good track to close the album.

Recommended!

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Send comments to Memo_anathemo (BETA) | Report this review (#1047385)
Posted Sunday, September 29, 2013 | Review Permalink

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