Stranger Vision – Poetica

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Reviewed: May, 2021
Released: 2021, Pride & Joy Music
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Erich

POETICA is the debut album from Italian melodic metal band Stranger Vision. Drawing lyrical inspiration from science, literature and poetry while boasting guest performances from Zachary Stevens (Savatage, Circle II Circle, Archon Angel), Alessandro Conti (Trick Or Treat, Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody), Alessia Scolletti (Temperance), Fabio Dessi (Hollow Haze, Arthemis) and Guido Benedetti (Trick Or Treat), Stranger Vision obviously has lofty ambitions. Perhaps in recognition of the overly saturated status of the melodic power metal subgenre, Stranger Vision has made every effort to elbow themselves to the front of the crowd. The result is the best debut album I have heard this year so far.

The instrumental opening track checks off an expected box before transitioning to a somewhat pedestrian opening riff on “Gates of Tomorrow.” You would be forgiven if you assumed there was nothing new or particularly interesting going forward, until the chorus comes. That is where I suddenly heard potential. From there, the album gains momentum at a rapid pace that even fifteen songs and an hour running time cannot derail. Ivan Adami has an accessible style that clearly was influenced by Zachary Stevens, but the whole band obviously counts Circle II Circle and Stevens era Savatage as inspirations. Riccardo Toni’s guitar work is blistering in the tradition of other great Italian power metal guitarists like Olaf Thorsen and Luca Turilli. His melodic sensibilities and technical skill come together on the inspirational and captivating track “Soul Redemption.” Interestingly, the verse and bridge are stronger than the chorus, which is opposite most of the album’s song structures.

Alessandro Conti and Guido Benedetti guest on “Rage”, which is inspired by Dylan Thomas’s “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night”. Blind Guardian and Helloween are clearly influences on this one as Benedetti offers solos of intense melodicism that help to propel the feeling conveyed by Thomas of the final realization of the end of a long life. “Before The Law” features Adami in a duet with Zach Stevens in a song that also features counterpoint vocals and memorable chorus. Most of the guest performance songs offer something to enjoy, though the song given to Alessia Scolletti is perhaps the weakest track on the album, a watery and somewhat limp ballad titled “Memories of You”. Scolletti does the best with what she was given and provides a strong performance.

Simone Mularoni’s mix is one of the clearest and cleanest I have heard in some time, a true product of modern technology. However, mixes, technical skills, and following the power metal lite playbook are not enough to propel a band to greater acclaim. The songs have to be strong, and Stranger Vision are gifted at writing actual songs with melodies and solos that serve the strength of song rather than the individual ego. Should the band reach greater heights, it will be on the strength of song that is so evident on POETICA. Recommended for fans of Circle II Circle, Labyrinth, Secret Sphere and other melodic power metal bands.


Videos


Track Listing:

1. Awakening Prelude
2. Gates Of Tomorrow
3. Human Change
4. Soul Redemption
5. Never Give Up
6. Memories Of You
7. The Dying Light
8. Rage
9. Over And Over
10. Before The Law
11. Wish
12. Defying Gravity
13. Hero Of The New World
14. Invictus
15. Soul Redemption (Deep Version)

Lineup:

Ivan Adami – vocals
Riccardo Toni – guitars
Gabriele Sarti – keyborads
Daniele Morini – bass
Luca Giacopini – drums

Websites:

www.facebook.com/StrangerVision/

www.strangervisionband.com/

 

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