Published on September 7th, 2020 | by Justin G.
Vanishing Point: Dead Elysium (AFM, 2020)
Australian melodic progressive metal band Vanishing Point is very, very good at what they do. So good, in fact, that in order to be fair to all the other bands in the genre they only release a new masterpiece every five years or so. That’s my theory at least. Whatever the reason, the band gave us six long years to enjoy their 2014 release Distant Is The Sun and to build our expectations for the eventual follow-up. That follow-up, titled Dead Elysium, is finally here, and it features their new rhythm section of Gaston Chin on bass and Damien Hall on drums.
Dead Elysium is a very interesting album. At first listen it’s exactly what you expect from a Vanishing Point release: guitarist Chris Porcianko’s instantly captivating melodies, Silvio Massaro’s powerful vocals, well-placed but not overused keyboards and enough progressive elements to satisfy without the songs becoming too self-indulgently technical. That’s been the core Vanishing Point sound for 20 years, so that’s no surprise. What’s interesting here is that the music has a darker, heavier tone than usual that’s more than a little reminiscent of Evergrey. And while the music may be getting darker, the lyrics take a more positive, hopeful direction. It’s clear that the events of the last few years – whether that’s in Australia, America or worldwide – have impacted the band, and these songs are the kind of response they feel would resonate.
Vanishing Point teased Dead Elysium with the songs “Dead Elysium” and “Salvus” (the latter showing a raspier Massaro vocal delivery, which takes some getting used to), so those were early favorites going in. It didn’t take long for other songs on the album, like “Count Your Days,” “The Ocean” and “Recreate The Impossible” to stand out. You can put pretty much all of Dead Elysium on your “Best of Vanishing Point” playlist though, since the whole album is really strong. Of course if you’re like me your “Best of Vanishing Point” playlist is probably every album from Tangled In Dream forward in its entirety.
Once again a long anticipated Vanishing Point album has proven to be worth the wait. Dead Elysium is another bright star in their already strong discography, and one that should appeal not only to their existing fans, but to anyone who loves melodic and/or progressive metal. Fans of Pyramaze, Evergrey, Masterplan and Teramaze in particular ought to love what they hear on Dead Elysium. It’s definitely earned a spot on the “Best of 2020” list.
Summary: As always...worth the wait