After a few listens the tracks fold into one another

Melbourne symphonic metal band Vanishing Point return after seven years to release Distant is the Sun.

Drenched in power metal and with a crystal clear production, the band seem intent on releasing their finest product to date, however the overall feel of the album is a slight let down, with some songs morphing into others to create a sameness in the end result. That’s not to say the die hard symphonic metal heads will not adore this album: it’s heavy, it’s melodic and it contains some strong song writing.

‘King of Empty Promises’ starts off the album following a short instrumental that lays down a foundation of heaviness and rolls seamlessly into the starter track. Bass heavy, it’s a strong start, though perhaps a minute too long as the final chorus becomes a little monotonous and it loses some of its power. Next up is the title track, a classic metal style monster with a great riff and backed by pounding drums and that symphonic edge. It’s a highlight track.

Piano introduces ‘Circle Of Fire’ with a guest appearance by Tony Kakko from Sonata Artica. The duelling vocals work nicely and when harmonising the result is emphatic. ‘Let the River Run’ delves into more heavy rock territory than metal, an almost Whitesnake moment for the band. Despite this odd comparison it actually works and the solo here is killer.

‘Denied Deliverance’ returns to the similar symphonic style of the band before again returning to a more balladic heavy rock sound on ‘Story of Misery’. Despite the subtle use of the piano throughout to good effect, it’s a song that loses the mojo of the album. ‘Era Zero’ attempt to regain momentum with a biting bass line with melody again at the forefront of the band’s intentions. The rest of the album continues in similar manner to the beginning with some riffs of note but after a few listens the tracks fold into one another and the listener is lost as to which one they are actually up to. Listening to a few of the previous Vanishing Point albums, Distant is the Sun seems to be a more technical release but compared to other symphonic metal releases of late it falls just short due to similar-sounding songs. Theatrical in its delivery, the album is a must for diehards (as stated) but if it attracts a new following remains to be seen.

1. Beyond Redemption
2. King of Empty Promises
3. Distant is the Sun
4. When Truth Lies
5. Circle of Fire
6. Let the River Run
7. Denied Deliverance
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