The Vision Ablaze: Youtopia

Danish mob throw the kitchen sink at their debut album

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Shocking front cover aside, there’s a maturity and depth to these progressive metallers that makes them instantly endearing.

Absent sinks its teeth in with a host of hooks and galloping passages, before the harsh vocals and riffs of Dreaming Awake give way to rich melodies and majestic twin guitars.

However, it’s the moody refrains of Under The Killing Moon where The Vision Ablaze come into their own, evoking the emotional majesty of Evergrey, with vocalist Peter Kelkelund doing his best Tom S Englund impression on towering ballad Monster. Utopia Calling is a stampede of Teutonic thrash and dizzying leads, while A Jaded Miracle’s syncopated touches and eminent vocals end Youtopia on a high.

At times the transitions from heavy to heartfelt passages seem forced, as the band attempt to cram in as many nods to their heroes and peers as possible, but these Danes clearly have musical chops and an ear for an enviably catchy hook that should see them conquer beyond their homeland.

Rugby, Sean Bean and power ballad superfan Adam has been writing for Hammer since 2007, and has a bad habit of constructing sentences longer than most Dream Theater songs. Can usually be found cowering at the back of gigs in Bristol and Cardiff. Bruce Dickinson once called him a 'sad bastard'.