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Album Reviews : Vanishing Point – Distant Is The Sun

By on February 21, 2014

Vanishing Point’s Distant is The Sun is superb.  I could end the review there to be honest, as I can make no further commentary on the album that can’t be summed up from listening to it. I’m not usually one to gush, especially so readily, and I oft pride myself on being critical when it comes to music but there it is, my complete and total thoughts on Distant is The Sun surmised in the opening sentence. Really, I am at a loss to say more about it aside from the album being a full, rich and uplifting work that bursts at the seams with radiance and virtuosity.

Vanishing Point have had an interesting career in the local music scene, producing many solid releases and a short hiatus that had many wondering if they would continue, either as a studio band or even at all. Whilst their prior releases have been well received in the past Vanishing Point have always seemed like a band that labored in anonymity, as if the true light of this band was just out of reach, in the distance. (See what I did there? Har har) It is with Distant is The Sun that Vanishing Point have well and truly taken their quantum leap from a distinct and enduring band into an indefatigable and enthralling force.

The album opens with the dark-toned, looming but powerfully driving Beyond Redemption, sliding seamlessly into King of Empty Promises; swept up in grant and full orchestrations, accompanied by pulsing rhythm. The departure of the typical “slow lead” Into tracks is the first, and only, warning you get with this album, and the warning is clear: You Are Going To Be Hit. Hard.

Everything this album possesses and offers is filled with stirring orchestras, compelling rhythms, melodies that run the gamut of inspiring to heartbreaking and some simply excellent vocal work. The entirety of Distant is The Sun, from start to finish, is powerful, evocative, moving and singularly beautiful, even in the darker, more vigorous pieces. This is none more evident in Let The River Run and Era Zero; two examples from the fourteen tracks present, both possessing a beating, beastly heart, rich with an electrical and rousing life blood. With Let The River Run’s reminiscence of a soulful revival hymn, but distinct in its invocation of 80’s power ballads, we get a sterling excerpt of the expressive; whereas with Era Zero we are treated to a bright and austere sting of symphony and melody, both technically and aurally exciting.

The depth and scope of this album are truly remarkable, as each track is crafted in such a way that they are undeniably of the same breed but are far from being indistinct from one another. This is the work of a band who have given all they possess, and more, to a work that shines from note to note, beat to beat. To listen to this album at length is akin to a journey; though not connected by any apparent theme the fourteen tracks span a more-than-modest hour and three minutes that offer a stirring and uplifting experience, which, if you let it, will carry you on magnificent wings of sound, each feather gilded with melody and vividness. (Yep, the album is that good; it brought out a surge of poetic wankery from yours truly) In fact you might find, sitting at length, listening to this album might be something of a chore in the sense that you will find yourself going back over tracks you had just heard for one more listen. A bit foolish to say, wouldn’t you think? Well, no, I wouldn’t say so.

Each song is graciously self contained and will almost demand a repeat, particularly tracks the likes of Denied Deliverance and Handful of Hope. There is a certain and undeniable energy to each individual track that creates an overall impression, present throughout the album; the entire work feels alive, every second of the album gives off a pulse that hums with a fervent existence that is all its own. It is with no second-guess that I can say that Distant is The Sun is something more than special, it is truly exemplary; and even that feels ill suited to categorize it.

I find myself at a real loss to say anything more about Distant is The Sun other than it is a brilliant album. It is a finely wrought artwork, richly layered and abundant in beauteous composition that will capture your mind and knock you from your feet. Granted that this kind of metal is not everyone’s taste, but I would emphatically recommend it to anyone who is looking for some genuinely gorgeous music; for lovers of this genre Distant is The Sun is more than a treat, it is a full course meal for the ears and (as cliché as it may sound) heart. It is, without question, uplifting and stunning international level metal.

2014 is only just kicking into gear, and with releases of this caliber coming out of this fair country then we are in for some interesting times ahead; not just as a music culture, but for Vanishing Point themselves. In fact I would not be surprised if this makes it into my top picks for the year; still, this only serves to make me eager to see what else is to come, from this band and many others.

In fact, the only real critique I can offer this album is that it left me nothing negative to say about it. As a guy who is critical about almost everything it is quite upsetting. Wait! The first play through crashed my laptop! HA!!

Band: Vanishing Point
Album: Distant Is The Sun
Year: 2014
Genre: Heavy metal
Label: AFM Records
Origin: Melbourne

Track list:
1. Beyond Redemption
2. King Of Empty Promises
3. Distant Is The Sun
4. When Truth Lies
5. Circle Of Fire
6. Denied Deliverance
7. Let The River Run
8. Story Of Misery
9. Era Zero
10. Pillars Of Sand
11. As December Fades
12. Handful Of Hope
13. Walls Of Silence
14. April

About

Hailing from parts unknown (actually, it’s Melbourne), Tristan is a freelance writer and lover of metal, with a special place in his heart for Power and Folk metal. After playing in a number of local Melbourne metal bands, and completing his Bachelor of Arts, Tristan focuses his attention to the pursuit of writing, practicing the Liechtenauer School of swordsmanship, dabbling in Cosplay and reciting Babylon 5 quotes; in addition to hunting for a publisher for his novel. Until then, he enjoys metal, writing about metal and convincing people around his office that he is immortal and has lived for 3,000 years. (So far only the chick in HR is buying it)