Vision Divine - When All The Heroes Are Dead
Scarlet Records
Power / Speed Metal
12 songs (55:27)
Release year: 2019
Vision Divine, Scarlet Records
Reviewed by Ben

When All The Heroes Are Dead has become one of the most enjoyable Power Metal releases I've heard in in a long time. Despite knowing their illustrious history and early era as a leader of Italian Power Metal founded by who else but Olaf Thorsen, who is apparently Italy's answer to Kai Hansen. However, to me, Vision Divine's greatest contribution to metal was getting vocalist extraordinaire Michele Luppi out into the world. This isn't to say I don't enjoy the pipes of one Fabio Lione on the other albums, but Michele and his performance on The Perfect Machine and Stream Of Consciousness are next level. Well, shit happens and Michele left after one more album with Vision Divine Fabio came back for two more releases and then... silence for almost a decade. So, maybe Olaf Thorsen is having a mid life crisis and wants to ensure his musical legacy by rejoining Labyrinth and now he has resurrected Vision Divine. What makes this incarnation of Vision Divine noteworthy is that he has a new singer, some guy named Ivan who is just beyond bad ass, and drum god Mike Terrana who brings literal decades of speed metal drumming technique with him. Both of these new additions to the band have elevated the group and have broken through even my jaded cynicism on the state of Power Metal in 2020.

Let's get the aesthetics out of the way first. What needs to be mentioned first off is the mix of this album. This is one of the best sounding albums I have heard in ages. When All The Heroes are dead is densely layered, yet things do not get lost in a diarrhea blend of muddy guitars and indiscernible bass / keyboards. You can actually hear piano accents while double bass drums are blasting away and guitars are riffing up a storm. There will be some slight string patches that are barely perceptible, but they are there rather than being lost in the mix. Nor are they horribly and unnecessarily brought up in the mix either ala the goddamn trumpet on the intro of Into The Lungs Of Hell from the shitty Megadeth remasters. While the theme of the album looks to be based on, wait for it, dead historical figures, some contemporary elements are here as well. The 26th Machine is about mankind inventing A.I. which fucks us, and it's version 26.0 that is the one that brings about the end. Three Men Walk On The Moon is literally about the moon landing. No metaphors or whatnot here about dragons or how "we are stars" or anything like that. King Of The Sky is about the pizza icon The Red Baron and talks about how he signed a deal with frozen foods distributors to become the lord of frozen pizza pies. The verse about how he invented breakfast pizzas by using gravy instead of tomato sauce is fascinating.

What really surprises me is that Angel Of Revenge is a "bonus track" for the cd release of this album. Not only was this the band's comeback song released a year before When All The Heroes Are Dead finally surfaced, but it's the longest on the album at six minutes as well as being the best song on here. Sweeping vocal histrionics steal the show. Since this was Vision Divine introducing us to Mr. Ivan Giannini, he belts out high notes that make me grunt and mutter in amazement every time. They really should have taken the time to re-order the album and find a better way to fit in such a killer song rather than tacking it on the end as a "bonus track." On The Ides Of March has an incredible chorus that takes it up a notch on it's second go around. After the first part comes some new lines spoken from the POV of Julius Caesar as he contemplates his upcoming death. Pretty poignant lyrics from a genre where some bands feel the need to wear capes in public. 300 is based on the movie, duh, and even includes a sample of their battle chants. I was actually expecting this to be one of the weaker songs based on the subject matter, but seeing as how the movie is over a dozen years old it's not exactly jumping on a new fangled trend.

I am really surprised by how much I like this release. When All The Heroes Are Dead seems like it was almost tailor made for my tastes in Power Metal. The lyrics are a huge selling point for me and the way that certain topics are addressed show that Olaf and crew have been around the block and have worldly experience. I complain alot about how awful modern drumming sounds and here we have a drumming master who has some of the most tasteful playing I've heard on a Power / Speed metal album in the past decade. And finally, Vision Divine have now unleashed two world class vocalists onto the world with Michele Luppi and Ivan Giannini. Seriously, these singers are so fucking good.

Killing Songs :
Angel Of Revenge, The 26th Machine, On The Ides Of March, Now That All The Heroes Are Dead, 3 Men Walk On The Moon
Ben quoted 92 / 100
Other albums by Vision Divine that we have reviewed:
Vision Divine - Destination Set To Nowhere reviewed by Olivier and quoted 84 / 100
Vision Divine - The 25th Hour reviewed by Ben and quoted 64 / 100
Vision Divine - The Perfect Machine reviewed by Mike and quoted 86 / 100
Vision Divine - Stream Of Consciousness reviewed by Marty and quoted 90 / 100
Vision Divine - Send Me An Angel reviewed by Marty and quoted 78 / 100
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