|Vanden Plas - Christ.0
31 March 2006
01. Christ 0
02. Postcard To God
03. Wish You Were Here
05. Shadow I Am
06. Fireroses Dance
07. Somewhere Alone In The Dark
08. January Sun
09. Lost In Silence
10. Gethsemane [Jesus Christ Superstar cover] [bonus]
The Heavy Progressive quintet from Kaiserslautern, Germany is back in full force with their new full-length album. Entitled Christ.0, this new opus marks the end of a three-year long interlude for the musicians of Vanden Plas, who have been busy with other musical projects since their last work 2002's Beyond Daylight. Despite its title, Christ.0 is not a concept album about Jesus Christ but about the Count of Monte Christo.
From the get-go, two things surprised me. First, Andy Kuntz' vocals have improved a lot and second, the use of an orchestra, which adds a lot to the atmosphere. For the rest, Vanden Plas' working formula remains, courtesy of the Lill brothers (Stefan Lill - Guitars / Andreas Lill - Drums) and the fact that the line-up has been the same group of friends for more than a decade.
Into more details, two tracks really stand out from this solid work. "Silently" is a quality false ballad that only Vanden Plas manages to put together brilliantly. However, the remarkable guitar work showcased on this song is what makes it fully original. But nothing prepares oneself for the beautiful and epic "January Sun", which is their best achievement to date. With such a killer chorus, beautiful lyrics, a catchy main melody that has a tendency to come back in force whenever it is most required. This song is the icing on the cake.
As a bonus track, Andy Kuntz thought of adapting "Gethsemane" from 'Jesus Christ Superstar' into a nice rendition. Great idea, natural since he was the leading role in one theater adaptation that toured in Germany. This makes it a great tribute and a chance for younger listeners to get into older stuff that rocks.
To keep it short, there is no doubt in my mind that Christ.0 is their best album, edging Beyond Daylight by a small margin musically, but by a big one vocally. Plus, it features what is their more achieved composition to date, "January sun".
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