Stranger Vision - Poetica
(Pride and Joy Music – 2021)
Italy's Stranger Vision's debut album opens with an intro that cuts so abruptly I actually had to test my copy to make sure it wasn't skipping.
Well I'm at least glad it didn't skip on any of the ten tunes that follow as this album by the is a pleasant listen peppered with influences across and outside the symphonic metal genre. While equipped with keyboards that sound like someone's been taken lessons from Jens Johanssen, the jousting guitars and solos sound more Iron Maiden most of the way, especially on 'Human Change', 'Soul Redemption', 'Rage' and 'Over and Over' amongst the best.
Inserting quite a few juices from the top German names as well as their own established countrymen, Rhapsody of Fire, and a slick middle of the road vocal from Ivan Adami to project them and the chemistry sends the test tube frothing quite aggressively. 'Poetica' is pleasantly assorted in terms of tempo, with fast, mid pace and balladry all modes being put in use, with the silky male/female-vocalled 'Memories of You' being a masterly example of the latter.
A melodic metal dessert that only a roster of guest players, including Savatage's Zak Stevens could flavour even sweeter, Stranger Vision indeed have the formula made resulting in this superb album bubbling to the top.
Brilliant and versatile, while also what you'd wish to hear within the walls of the genre.
By Dave Attrill
RECOMMENDED IF YOU LIKE: Stratovarius, Gamma Ray, Kiske/Somerville & Sonata Artica.