Vanden Plas - Chronicles Of The Immortals: Netherworld (Path 1) review
|Album:||Chronicles Of The Immortals: Netherworld (Path 1)|
|Release date:||February 2014|
01. Vision 1ne
02. Vision 2wo - The Black Knight
03. Vision 3hree - Godmaker
04. Vision 4our - Misery Affection Prelude
05. Vision 5ive - A Ghosts Requiem
06. Vision 6ix - New Vampyre
07. Vision 7ven - The King And The Children Of Lost World
08. Vision 8ight - Misery Affection
09. Vision 9ine - Soul Alliance
10. Vision 10n - Inside
The masters of heavy rock operas are back. Vanden Plas, from the city of Kaiserslautern, Germany, have been steadily grabbing dully deserved attention of late with their unique theatrical approach to music applied to progressive power metal. It has been 4 years already since they released the addictive concept album The Seraphic Clockwork. They took things even a notch farther in terms of theater performance by teaming up with fantasy writer Wolfgang Hohlbein to interpret his Netherworld novels on stage in the form of a rock opera for a few selected shows in Germany. With the bombastic title of Chronicles of the Immortals: Netherworld (Path I), this is the studio recording of the first half of those songs.
In case you aren't yet acquainted with Vanden Plas, they are Andy Kuntz on vocals, Stephan Lill on guitars, his brother Andreas Lill on drums, Torsten Reichert on bass, and Günter Werno on keyboards. That's right, the lineup hasn't changed since the band's inception in 1990, and their chemistry has always been one of their strengths.
So what besides the breathtaking artwork are you to expect? Even though the album is divided into 10 tracks, it is and feels like one 55 minute theater composition. Grand piano opening as well as recurring themes and melodies cement the feeling. However do not let the "theater" sticker worry you the music is as heavy as their previous albums. The killer riffs remain very present as usual, courtesy of Stephan Lill and his trademark striking guitar sound. Andy Kuntz' skillful vocal interpretation is rendered even more remarkable when coupled with outstanding female vocals or a choir on some memorable tracks such as "Misery's Affection" and "A Ghosts Requiem".
The album provides ample room for the keyboard work from Günter Werno to shine as it never did before. I feel like Andreas Lill has grown even more behind the drum kit, or at least, he has been allowed to contribute a lot more than usual to the songs. And all this is happening while omnipresent and dynamic bass lines from Torsten Reichert make "Chronicles of the Immortals" a progressive masterpiece.
So that leaves little to discuss further, Vanden Plas have just managed to outdo the awesomeness of their previous efforts with this album, which was no easy task. If you like progressive music of any kind and/or heavy metal, this will probably exceed your expectations. Stay tune for the next chapter Netherworld Path II, which is scheduled for a 2015 release date. In the meantime, enjoy this enthralling album without moderation.
Written on 09.03.2014 by
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