|After having been together in the same consistent line up now for almost a decade, Vanden Plas have found themselves at the forefront of the German progressive metal scene. After the success of last year's phenomenal "Far Off Grace", Vanden Plas return to the fore with their debut live offering which showcases all of the energy, power and precision that fans have come to expect from the band.
Formed in 1990, the band first came together with one common goal in mind; to play expressive music with a spiritual and emotional meaning whilst maintaining a melodic, heavy rock sound. In 1995 the band released their debut album, "Colour Temple" to much acclaim. A richly introspective work enhanced by the dramatic fusion of classical, progressive and melodic elements along with the band's unrelenting power. Noted publications everywhere stood back and took notice of this impressive debut giving it great reviews. The album was supported by an extensive tour of Europe finishing up with a string of supports for Kingdom Come and Savatage.
"Colour Temple" was succeeded a year later by the release of the mini album "AcCult", an intriguing, entirely acoustic collection of four Vanden Plas favourites coupled with four cover songs which the band had added their own signature to. The EP featured such varied classics as Ray Charles' "Georgia On My Mind" and Marillion's "Kayleigh" sitting alongside stripped down versions of the band's own material such as "Days Of Thunder" and "Father". All of which served as both a treasure to the loyal fan and a worthy introduction for the uninitiated.
Having been deeply ensconced in the studio throughout the first half of 1997, Vanden Plas triumphantly emerged with the fruits of their labour in the guise of "The God Thing". Allowing more room for experimentation this time which helped add even more vitality to their epic, progressive rock sound. At the same time the music was both masterful and heavy whilst still retaining their typical melodic hooks. The songs were also enhanced by orchestral sections, perfectly integrated to augment the band's sound even more. The band successfully proved that they were carving their own niche in the genre whilst embarking on a gruelling eight week European tour with American band Dream Theater. The tour was a great success and helped to increase their already growing fan base.
Their third studio album, "Far Off Grace" showcased the band's melodic approach to the progressive metal genre as before, whilst taking their song writing a step further giving the tracks on the album a more vivid and up to date sound. Nevertheless, the band still allowed themselves plenty of technical interplay but never let it compromise the songs. Lyrically the album is based on a series of short stories. The source of each story revolving around, where we come from and where we are going in life. That nothing is forever but also that nothing really ends. In each story, the main character tries to reach one of the oldest human dreams but is still far away from his ultimate destination. He is Far Off Grace. "Far Off Grace" continued the Vanden Plas tradition, moving another step forward and proving themselves yet again.
Now before starting anew with their next studio album, the band chose to document the Far Off Grace tour by releasing their first ever live album. "Spirit Of Live" captures the band on top form from their sold out performance at the famed Elysee Montmartre in Paris earlier this year. The performance was highlighted by guest appearances from guitarist Patrick Rondat and legendary vocalist Don Dokken. "Spirit Of Live" was released in Europe in September 2000.