VANISHING POINT
Progressive Metal • Australia

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Aussie proggers in the style of Dream Theater, Evergrey, and Fates Warning.

Vanishing Point has been a recognised part of the Australian Metal scene since 1997. Their debut album "In Thought" was hailed "Australian Metal album of the Year" by Demon Night Radio and the band was, proclaimed to be "Australia's No.1 Progressive Metal band" by Australia's most important Prog / Power radio show "Screaming Symphony".

2001's "Tangled in Dream" boosted Vanishing Point's fanbase exponentially and helped secure a European supporting tour slot for Gamma Ray, alongside Sonata Arctica.

2005 was the year that Vanishing Point's (very) long awaited third album was released. The album was delayed for nearly an entire year, but was greeted with enormous praise and propelled Vanishing Point into a new direction, not yet ventured before.

2007 saw Vanishing Point release album number four titled "The Fourth Season" through Hamburg based label Dockyard 1.

Although they
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Distant Is The SunDistant Is The Sun
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Lmp 2000
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In ThoughtIn Thought
Locomotive Spain 2007
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Locomotive Spain 2007
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Cleopatra 2004
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Imports 2011
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Harkit 2011
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In ThoughtIn Thought
Import
1999
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Polyester
Vinyl$6.35 (used)
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VANISHING POINT Discography

VANISHING POINT albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
In Thought
Progressive Metal 1997
.. Album Cover 3.00 | 2 ratings
Tangled in Dream
Progressive Metal 2000
.. Album Cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Embrace the Silence
Progressive Metal 2005
.. Album Cover 3.41 | 4 ratings
The Fourth Season
Progressive Metal 2007
.. Album Cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Distant Is the Sun
Progressive Metal 2014

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VANISHING POINT Reviews

VANISHING POINT The Fourth Season

Album · 2007 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
cennsor
[review originally published on http://thecennsor.wordpress.com/]

Instant q&a: how many of you aren’t fascinated with the picture to the right? A blindfold girl playing a violin on the shore under a dark cloudy sky: now that speaks of poetry – here’s what I thought when I ran into it. And of course, that could as well be but a decoy, luring you into believing what’s inside matches the beauty of what’s outside, and then leaving you disappointed. Fortunately, that’s not the case.

Little had I heard by this band before; but to those of you who are already familiar with them, I can say our Aussies are keeping up what they’ve been doing so far. And to those of you who are new to them, I specify: what they’ve been up so far, is very good music. Sure, but what does it sound like then?

Imagine a heavier kind of melodic rock – let’s just say melodic metal. You may as well take AOR as a starting point; add some heaviness, and an orchestral-driven sound, and you come quite close to guess what kind of music Vanishing Point make. So far, so banal – lest you’re into AOR and the such, and if you are, this album is a must-have. What makes something more out of The Fourth Season though, is that it can appeal to the AOR non-lovers as well. The symphonic approach to it, the thickness of the sound (which at the same time is very melodic), even the vague lyrics make it a dense, compact, prime quality work. But before I turn this from a simple appreciation into a quest for the most alluring definition (yeah, even i got better things to do), I’ll try to give you a quick stare at what’s to be found on the album.

Surrender is the first hit. No wonder it was also made into a videoclip. Its start does a nice testimony to the spirit of the whole album. Refrains and verses are equally catchy; and that also applies to the rest of the album, most evident on the following Hope Among the Heartless and on a consistent bunch of other songs too. To name some of the songs’ unique features, I might mention the epicity of I Within I (introduced by an awesome short instrumental), as well as the prog-flavoured gait of Ashen Sky, or the “cloudy” thoughtfulness of the final Day of Difference, closing the album in a slowly, peaceful fade-out which is just the most fitting of endings.

THUS SPAKE THE CENNSOR: The Fourth Season‘s melodies will lure you in a convincing way; once you’re caught, the power of the sound which has come to surround you will not easily let you escape. And you will probably not even want to. I have honestly not heard so many, but this is the first AOR (or quasi-AOR) record to sort of win my cold, icy, heartless soul of a progster. That alone should mean something. 8/10

VANISHING POINT Tangled in Dream

Album · 2000 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Pelata
The sticker affixed to the jewel case of the new Vanishing Point CD describes its contents as “Melodic Progressive Metal.” After several spins of this Australian sextet’s sophomore release Tangled In Dream, I can honestly say, “Yeah, that pretty much sums it up.” In smaller print the same sticker reads “…brilliant second album…” Excuse me, “brilliant?” I just can’t find the evidence to substantiate this claim. Good? Yes. Very good? Yes, in places. Brilliant? Hardly. Brilliant would be Dream Theater’s Awake, or Pain of Salvation’s Entropia, or better yet Genesis’ The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. The word “brilliant” implies sounds and textures combined in such a way as to surprise and astound the listener, a work of sheer musical genius. What I find in Tangled in Dream is a solid offering of exactly what the first part of the sticker said. A collection of memorable melodies, progressive tendencies, and AOR influenced metal that most any fan of the genre should find enjoyable. However, “brilliant” is a bit too lofty a claim.

Vanishing Point, as I mentioned, are from Australia and, to my knowledge, the only band of its kind to hail from the lower continent. I have heard of more extreme forms of metal emerging from “down under” (I promised myself I wouldn’t say that…damn.), but none so melodic and smooth sounding as Vanishing Point. At first glance, one may be tempted to write them off as another in a long line of junior Dream Theater’s. But upon further investigation a skillful, seasoned band is uncovered. Vocalist Silvio Massaro has something of a unique timbre to his voice. I find it to be a little deeper than your average prog-metal singer. This is a welcome change from the high-pitched squealers that too often come as standard issue in this kind of band. He really does justice to the melodies here, without over-singing them. He simply puts in a good, well-rounded performance shining on songs like “Surreal,” “The Real You,” and “Closer Apart.” Guitarists Tom Vucur and Chris Porcianko, while not offering anything mind blowing or out of the ordinary, both turn in worthy performances. I especially enjoyed the acoustic guitars peppered throughout the record. Their rhythm playing is good, and their lead playing is skillful without overdoing it. They both can be proud of their work on this record. Remaining members Joe Del Mastro (bass), Jack Lukic (drums), and Danny Olding (keys) all pull their weight here. While they’re not likely to incite any obsessive hero-worship, they all get the job done with style and grace.

This is a band that is not afraid of taking a radio friendly melody and running with it. While most of the songs here are well over the 5-minute mark, they all contain catchy, singable melodies that hold their place in your head long after the CD is put back in its case. Highlights include “Surreal,” “Father (7 Years),” “Bring on the Rain,” “Dancing with the Devil” and the ‘hidden’ track, an energetic cover of Pink Floyd’s “On the Turning Away.” This is a band that, in time, could put out a “brilliant” album. Until then, Tangled in Dream is an album the band can be proud of, and they should be.

VANISHING POINT The Fourth Season

Album · 2007 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
The T 666
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. It is saved by the good hooks of its songs which create a very enjoyable experience. I think 3 stars will do just fine.

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