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Album Reviews : Vanishing Point – Dead Elysium

By on August 21, 2020

Unlike such sub-genres of heavy music as thrash, glam, grunge, nu-metal, metalcore, Djent and so on, power metal has never really had a time in the sun, a moment when it was the focus of a majority of heavy music fans’ attention. It has really just ‘powered’ along in its own time and space, attracting and retaining a strong and monumentally committed following across the planet, more than happy to sit in its own global niche. And that history is embodied in the career of Melbourne maestros Vanishing Point. This band has been around for a quarter of a century, and Dead Elysium is their sixth long-player.

It’s often a long time in between drinks for this band. Their previous record, Distant is the Sun, came out in 2014. But that’s the type of band Vanishing Point is, their music is complex and multi-layered, and they emphasise quality over quantity. Their fans know that when a new VP record does emerge, it’s going to be a finely crafted cracker. And that’s exactly what we have here.

Dead Elysium is 10 tracks and an hour’s worth of dramatic, rousing, inspiring melodic metal. While they’re not reinventing their own, or power metal as a whole’s wheel (if a band did reinvent the power metal wheel, it would probably cease to be power metal), this record certainly represents a pretty serious evolution for this band. It is both heavier and more symphonic than previous releases, and for this writer who loves both heavy and symphonic music, and adores when the two styles are combined, this is a wonderful thing. The guitars are crunchy as hell, and when they lock in with the pounding, often relentless double bass drum grooves, the effect is heavy and powerful as hell.

Then of course, providing sweet contrast to the underlying heaviness are the melodic elements. The stronger focus on the orchestral arrangements lends the album a wondrous wash of symphonic bombast, while stalwart singer Silvio Massaro’s voice is as strong, soaring and riveting as ever. It’s obvious he has truly dug deep within himself to produce a performance of great depth and emotion here.

Age definitely hath not wearied this band one single iota. In fact, they are improving like a fine Yarra Valley red.

The songs are wall to wall quality here too, no filler to be heard whatsoever. As previously stated, this band takes its time, ensuring every song, every moment is dead on point. It’s nigh on impossible to pick standouts among the 10 beauties on offer here, but special mention must be given to the mid-album epic Free, which is simply Vanishing Point, and indeed power metal, at their powerful, emotional best. Salvus is excellent too, arguably showing off the symphonic side of the album to best effect. The true resonance of Massaro’s voice really stands out here too, especially in the moments when it’s exposed and raw with minimal instrumental backing.

This band has done itself, and Aussie heavy music proud on Dead Elysium. If you dig any kind of melodic heavy music whatsoever, this album is for you.

Band: Vanishing Point
Album: Dead Elysium
Year: 2020
Genre: Power/classic/melodic metal
Label: Octane Records
Origin: Australia

About

Rod Whitfield is a Melbourne-based writer and retired musician who has been writing about music since 1995. He has worked for Team Rock, Beat Magazine, themusic.com.au, Heavy Mag, Mixdown, The Metal Forge, Metal Obsession and many others. He has written and published his memoirs of his life and times in the music biz, and also writes books, screenplays, short stories, blogs and more.