Virtuocity - Secret Visions

Year of Release: 2001
Label: Spinefarm
Catalog Number: SPI137CD
Format: CD
Total Time: 53:26:00

Apart from having a very cool name, Virtuocity is a clone of the Finnish led (Jarno Keskinen) Kenziner (now disbanded).

The band centres around guitarist Jaron Sebastian Raven (he also plays bass on the album) who is an over-the-top fan of Yngwie Malmsteen and all of his protégé's. Jaron is an amazing guitarist who delivers a solid performance but without a lot of freshness - apparent in almost all of the tracks. Freshness aside, his neo-classical work is an important part of the album and whilst technically enjoyable, there's a bit of repetition happening throughout. Apart from having a guitar wank fest, there's so many keyboards happening that the album that the band name sums up the album perfectly - this is virtuso music. The keyboardist is Janne Tolsa (Tarot) and current perennial Finnish favourite drummer Jaska Raatikainen (Children of Bodom) is also in there along with Marco Heitala (ex-Sinergy, Tarot, Nightwish) who gets a guest vocal appearance on two tracks - the opener "Eye For An Eye" and "Speed Of Light" (can anyone guess how slow the latter is? ;P). Now, I should mention the real vocalist - one Peter James Goodman (Conquest) - who is actually not as good as 1) Marco Heitala, or 2) Kenziner vocalist Stephan Fredrick. He lacks a lot of power and ingenuity and most importantly - passion and emotion.

Music-wise, Virtuocity deliver the goods with a neo-classic album that shreds as well as shrieks. Overall though, the album is divided based on the quality of the compositions. Some songs just streak along and it feels great listening to them - "Pharaoh's Dream," "Eye For An Eye," "Speed Of Light," "Rise & Rule," but others just don't cut it. The slow-tempo balled "Without You" is the most emotional of the tracks and the guitar work, at the slower speed, is just terrific. That emotion is missing on other parts of the album. There's a few songs which have epic elements to them like the choir-based "Tears Of Babylon" but the rest of the songs are just blank and impassive mainly due to the weak vocals of Goodman.

Secret Visions carries with it an ancient Egyptian theme, although overall it's not an album I'd highly recommend. They'll get better and bigger, I'm sure of that, but I do hope they replace Goodman who I think is the weakest link in the band.

Similar To: Kenziner, Kenziner, & Kenziner

[This review originally appeared November 2002 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]

Eye For An Eye (4:25) / Rise & Rule (4:23) / Pharaoh's Dream (5:01) / Crucified (5:30) / Speed Of Light (4:35) / No Destination (5:23) / Without You (4:39) / Tears Of Babylon (5:19) / Raging Destiny (7:55) / Secret Visions (6:18) / New Empire (6:11) / Ruins Of Love (5:11) / Time Passing By (4:54)

Jaron Sebastian Raven - guitars, bass
Janne Tolsa - keyboards
Jaska Raatikainen - drums
Peter James Goodman - vocals
Marco Hietala - vocals (1, 5)
Jonna Imelainen - vocals

Secret Visions (2001)
Northern Twilight Symphony (2004)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin FI

Added: March 29th 2005
Reviewer: Gary Carson
Artist website:
Hits: 851
Language: english


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