Here is the usual prologue.
My blogger pal Deke over at Thunder Bay had a cool Northern Hemisphere Summertime Series between July and August.
Each week, he wrote about albums he spun during the summer.
Well, the real Earth summer is between December, January and February in the Southern Hemisphere.
So the good act that Thunder Bay is, boarded a Qantas plane, landed in Sydney, survived 14 days quarantine in a Sydney hotel and is finally here to present the “Thunder Bay Down Under Summertime Series”.
Vanishing Point are from Melbourne, Australia.
“Dead Elysium” came out in 2020. Six years since they released the excellent “Distant Is The Sun” and during that period they had their setbacks in getting this album done, especially around vocalist Silvio Massaro and his throat infections and respiratory illnesses.
And before “Distant Is The Sun” there was “The Fourth Season” which came out in 2007.
The thing with Vanishing Point is that they write the music that makes them happy. With Silvio Massaro behind the mic and Chris Porcianko on guitars, they act as the mainstays and the main writers within the band, which actually came to my attention in 1997 with their debut album “In Thought”.
And while Massaro was on vocals for the debut, Porcianko wasn’t.
The guitars on the debut were handled by Andrew Whitehead and founder Tom Vucur. Porcianko joined the band after the debut album was done and never left. Vucur left during the writing of “Distant To The Sun”, which meant they had to restart the writing process again as they couldn’t use his riffs.
And in 2020, they dropped “Dead Elysium”.
Guitarist Chris Porcianko doesn’t get the recognition but he is an excellent song writer, and guitarist, creating intricate and syncopated riffs. And the dude can shred and be emotive as well.
The haunting piano kicks off “Dead Elysium” and then that syncopated riff comes in, which reminds me of “The Masterplan” and “A Touch Of Blessing” from Evergrey blended together.
And I was all in.
“Count Your Days” starts off with crunching guitars and an octave lead which gels with the symphonic elements.
Then the singing starts.
The day when I waved goodbye I remember it well
Those momentous days of saying goodbye to someone are engraved in our minds. One chapter ends and a new one begins, for better or worse. And it’s hard to say goodbye to something, because of fear. The fear of the unknown, the fear of other people’s opinions or the sadness that comes with saying goodbye.
Once the Chorus kicks in, it takes the track into AOR territory.
I took a look inside and I felt the great divide
In a world I fear that’s giving in to lies
The world was always giving in to lies. People believe what they read from the various newspapers and books. Reading critically is not easy, because it means you need to take another opposing view in mind, plus invest time to read widely. And people don’t want to take in a view that opposes their current beliefs.
And that melodic harmony lead break in the Outro.
How good is it?
The emotions it evokes, just makes me press repeat.
On YouTube, the video clip its shortened, so make sure you get the 6 minute plus version, so you can hear this lead break repeated endlessly before it fades out.
“Salvus” has this major key vibe in the intro, which hooks me in.
A few distorted chords, the orchestral synths and then a guitar lead.
Just before the minute mark, it all becomes quiet, just a vocal melody and some choir synths.
Staring at the edge
Reaching out to the world
Feels like I’m alone
The way this section comes in, I felt like I was alone, at the edge of the world. The movie “City Of Angels” comes to mind, how the character played by Nicholas Cage, stands at the beach, at sunrise, listening to some choral symphony being played in the atmosphere.
Then the drums and bass come in, no guitar as yet, because when they do come in again at the 1.38 mark for the pre-chorus, they are effective.
You don’t have to change the world
I will keep you safe
With all that is happening in the world, it’s hard to even feel safe.
Bring our dark to light
While the title track could have come from an Evergrey album, it’s tracks like “The Fall”, which provide the variation.
Just listen to the Chorus.
I should of seen the signs
Foresight is a wonderful thing but in real time we aren’t the best at seeing the subtle signs.
I can make believe or I can take the fall
How I would love to escape sometimes instead of facing reality.
Throughout my life I’ve been knocked on my arse so many times by people and by society in general, that once I’ve fallen the only way up, is to stand again.
Sometimes with broken bones.
I won’t give up, give in
It’s repeated in the outro, like a mantra, a new awakening and a new awareness.
And the guitar work from Porcianko is brilliant.
Check out Vanishing Point.