Early years and Vision Divine
Vision Divine was initially born as a solo project by Labyrinth guitarist Olaf Thorsen, who called singer Fabio Lione (Rhapsody of Fire, Rhapsody Reunion, Turilli Lione Rhapsody, Labyrinth, and Angra) to form a collaboration. The line-up was completed later with the entry of bassist Andrea "Tower" Torricini, keyboardist Andrew Mc Pauls and drummer Mat Stancioiu. The group's name is a combination of "Vision", Labyrinth's first name, and "Divine", the title of Thorsen's then-possible solo album.
In 1999 the first studio album was released, the homonymous Vision Divine, which allowed the group to obtain an excellent critical and sales success, so much so that it was sold out on the tour in Argentina, Mexico, Chile, Panama and Brazil.
2002 is the year of release of their second album, Send Me an Angel. In the meantime, the rumors that Vision Divine are nothing more than a makeshift band for Olaf Thorsen, who, following some friction with his old band, decides to leave Labyrinth to devote himself completely to his project. Federico Puleri, already added guitarist in live shows, enters alongside Olaf Thorsen to reinforce the sound that 2 guitars better suits the proposed genre and in the meantime Mat Stancioiu and Andrew Mc Pauls make the exact opposite choice, and leave Vision Divine to dedicate themselves 100% to the Labyrinths; in their place are replaced by Oleg Smirnoff on keyboards (Eldritch and a former member of Death SS) and Matteo Amoroso on drums (ex-Athena).
With this renewed lineup in 2003, the band prepares to write a new album. After writing some songs, Fabio Lione is forced to leave the band due to contractual obligations with Rhapsody; now devoid of the Pisan singer, the end of the group is now taken for granted, but a few months later Olaf Thorsen announces the entry of the new singer:
it is Michele Luppi, a singer practically unknown in the metal world but more well-known in the AOR underground scene. Stream of Consciousness, this is the title of the concept that came out in 2004 and is considered by many to be the "spiritual" successor of Olaf Thorsen's other well-known Labyrinth album, Return to Heaven Denied, as well as the album most appreciated by fans; the voice of the new singer Michele Luppi pulverizes in a few minutes all the doubts that some fans had with the announcement of this unknown
singer and surprises the public for its power and height as well as for its versatility and expression, so much, so that many begin to see that he is the new Michael Kiske and the departure of Fabio Lione is considered by many to be the beginning of a new era for Vision Divine; In fact, with this new album, the band begins to be admired also by Progressive metal lovers as well as by Power metal and Classic metal lovers.
Also at Stream of Consciousness, Oleg Smirnoff plays the keyboards, a versatile keyboardist already in force with Eldritch and Death SS, many fans see this keyboardist as one of the most talented in the Italian and international metal scene, even comparing him to Kevin Moore. In the meantime, the group changed labels to Scarlet Records for the Italian market. In the wake of the success of the album, the band decides to make their first DVD, "Stage of Consciousness", recorded in April at the Transilvania Live in Reggio Emilia, excellent production as regards audio, less accurate video instead but with a excellent direction.
A little more than a year later Vision Divine are back on the market with a new album called The Perfect Machine, but without Matteo Amoroso, who separated from the group for personal reasons. Power sonority to get closer to Progressive metal than ever before, from the rhythmic point of view drums and guitars become tighter and more pressing than in the past, while Michele Luppi's vocal lines highlight his known versatility.
The drum parts of the album were conceived and recorded by Danil Morini. The production of the disc was handled by the guitarist of Stratovarius, Timo Tolkki, maintaining the authenticity of the acoustic sounds.
Timo Tolkki will indicate on that occasion, Danil Morini as one of the most professional and eclectic drummers heard in the recording room. The album, originally released in November 2005, was immediately acclaimed by the public and the press, to the point of being considered by many to be one of the best works that Italy has ever produced in the metal field.
In 2006 Scarlet Records released a new version, in digipack and limited edition, of the album, The Perfect Machine containing 4 bonus tracks: the reinterpretation of "The Needle Lies" by Queensrÿche from their album Operation: Mindcrime and three new versions of the band's classics reinterpreted by the then singer of the Michele Luppi band, "New Eden", "Send Me an Angel" and "Pain".
In the same year two important defections for the band follow, in fact both Oleg Smirnoff and Andrea "Tower" Torricini leave the band for personal reasons: in their place Cristiano Bertocchi (bass) who in the meantime has left Labyrinth enters their place; and Alessio Lucatti (White Scull) (keyboards); in September 2005 the collaboration with drummer-session player Danil Morini ends at the conclusion of the tour in Japan; following the need to recreate the formation of the band, the young Riccardo Quagliato was chosen, replaced a few months later by Alessandro Bissa, also from Labyrinth.
After these numerous line-up changes, the band enters the studio to record the new album, which will be released on June 25th 2007 with the title The 25th Hour. The new concept album once again enjoys Timo Tolkki's production and above all a greater musical heterogeneity than its predecessors, with strong AOR influences, Hard rock and sometimes Thrash metal riffs.
A few days later their first video, "The Daemon You Hide", made entirely in 3D by LKA, comes out on the band's renewed website. On February 23, on the occasion of the band's tenth anniversary, a special event is organized at Tempo Rock in Gualtieri in the province of Reggio Emilia. Almost all the ex musicians of the group take part, and Trevor Nadir and Tommy Talamanca from Sadist, were also in this special lineup.
In April 2008 Michele Luppi's exit from the band was announced on the official website of Vision Divine.
On May 28, 2008 the new singer is announced by Olaf Thorsen, in real time on a chat organized on a metal music site, and later on the official site. During the chat, the guitarist announced that Fabio Lione will be reinstated in the line-up from June, the month in which Vision Divine will hold some concerts to celebrate the reunion.
The title of the new album is also announced, 9 Degrees West of the Moon, for which the recordings will start in August 2008, for a publication expected by 2009. To take care of the sounds will still be Timo Tolkki.
In September 2011, the band announced that the pre-production of the next album is finished, defining the next work as "a concept very far from the themes dealt with in the previous albums", and stating that "the music will take a rather new path" in this album.
In the meanwhile, Vision Divine separated from bassist Cristiano Bertocchi, who decided to devote himself intensively to teaching, to his solo projects and to the production of bands in the Italian metal scene. The band announces the return of Andrea "Tower" Torricini, historical bassist of the band (from the first, Vision Divine to The Perfect Machine), who then participates in the recording sessions for the next album. Vision Divine signed with EarMusic/Edel Group Records and released their seventh studio album entitled "Destination Set to Nowhere" on September 14, 2012.
In 2016, the band announced drummer Alessandro Bissa decided to peacefully part ways.
On May 3, 2016 Vision Divine announced on Facebook the entry into formation of the American drummer Mike Terrana, member in the past of groups and artists such as Rage, Masterplan, Axel Rudi Pell, Yngwie Malmsteen and Tarja Turunen.
On April 28, 2018, Fabio announces his second departure from the band, while the band continues to prepare the new album. In December 2018, they published on YouTube their new single entitled 'Angel of Revenge', from their then future album, in which they present their new singer, the vocalist of Derdian, Ivan Giannini, also known for his participation in "The Voice of Italy" (Video).
On 19 August 2019, the band announced the new album "When All The Heroes Are Dead" on its social media accounts. The artwork of the album was created by Federico Mondelli, whose bands are signed under Scarlet Records just like Vision Divine.
On October 25, 2019, their new album "When All the Heroes Are Dead" was released, after a 7-year wait.
After playing shows all around the world, the band returned to the studio in summer 2022 to work on two new albums. The songwriting of the first one was finished one year later, and the recordings are scheduled before the end of 2023.
For Frank Trojan from Rock Hard, "the debut album sounded like stereotypical Italian melodic metal, sometimes with a progressive touch or dark-mystical or ballad-like". Matthias Mineur from Metal Hammer wrote about the follow-up album: "Stronger than on the debut is the basis of a melodic metal that is occasionally reminiscent of Stratovarius,
which often builds on simple but powerful guitar riffs and regularly leads to hymn-like refrains." In the Eclipsed Thorsten Pöttger speculated: "Anyone who likes music in the tradition of Helloween and the like without further surprises [...] will get their money's worth." Jürgen Schottner from "Metal-E-Mag" Underground Empire, found Send Me an Angel to be "Prototype for the anti-Italo-Metal gallergy", or qualitatively below Rhapsody.
Symmetry - The Official Demo series Vol 3 (1999)
Vision Divine (1999)
Colours of My World (2002) demo
Send Me an Angel (2002)
Stream of Consciousness (2004)
The Perfect Machine (2005)
Stage of Consciousness (2005) video
The 25th Hour (2007)
9 Degrees West of the Moon (2009)
Destination Set to Nowhere (2012)
When All The Heroes Are Dead (2019)
Olaf Thörsen – guitar (1998–present)
Andrea "Tower" Torricini – bass (1999–2006, 2012–present)
Federico Puleri – guitar (2002–present)
Alessio "Tom" Lucatti – keyboard (2006–present)
Matt Peruzzi – drums (2022–present)
Ivan Giannini – vocals (2018 – present)
Fabio Lione – vocals (1998–2003, 2008–2018)
Alessandro "Bix" Bissa – drums (2006–2016)
Michele Luppi – vocals (2003–2008)
Cristiano Bertocchi – bass (2006–2012)
Andrew Mc Pauls – keyboard (1999–2002)
Oleg Smirnoff – keyboard (2002–2005)
Mat Stancioiu – drums (1999–2002)
Matteo Amoroso – drums (2003–2005)
Ricky Quagliato – drums (2005–2006)
Danil Morini – drums (2005) (session)
Mike Terrana – drums (2016–2022)
Source: Translated from the Italian Wikipedia