VANISHING POINT-DISTANT IS THE SUN SMALLWith lashings of bombast, this album races off into fantasy-filled progressively power metal territory. There’s plenty of punch in the drumming, the vocals are heading towards epic lands and the chorus adds to the pomposity. It’s everything you’ve heard before but it’s uplifting. “King of Empty Promises” and all that follows is tight, but then it’s what you’d hope. This is the fifth album by these musicians from Australia. It’s been six years since the previous album. It’s a “rise from the ashes” according to the band. How power metal is that?

Over the course of “Distant is the Sun”, I found myself at different extremes of the excitement spectrum. “When Truth Lies” is the video track of the album. It is typically full-blooded, galloping and yet controlled power metal. Familiar sparks fly from the keyboard player, the rhythm and chorus are comfortingly familiar. This song is catchy and engaging. I found “Circle of Fire” less inspirational but undeniably there’s still plenty of energy. There’s a guest appearance here from a Sonata Arctica guitarist. I hear elements here of Masterplan, and of Iron Maiden and Helloween with whom Vanishing Point have shared a stage. “Let the River Run”, which follows, is somewhat laboured, but the ante is upped again with “Story of Misery” which has an anthemic quality. All in all this is a collection of strong and melodic songs, and “Era Zero” is one of the best with its exciting and pulsating beat. Yet these songs are much the same and seem to come from a template. The piano tinklings of “Handful of Hope” add a dimension but the range isn’t wide. At 65 minutes in length, “Distant is the Sun” seems more about quantity over quality but there is undoubtedly plenty of the latter in these well-structured songs.

I enjoyed this album and it kept me interested in the main, but it didn’t give me the urge to race out and buy the rest of Vanishing Point’s albums. This is a good band nevertheless and one which is sure to appeal to those who love their power metal with a good dose of prog thrown in.

(6.5/10 Andrew Doherty)