VANDEN PLAS

(GERMANY)

THE CHRONICLES OF THE IMMORTALS -PART ONE : NETHERWORLD

(2014)
LABEL:

FRONTIERS RECORDS

GENRE:

PROGRESSIVE METAL

TAGS:
Concept-album, High-pitched vocals
"Dark and melodic, Vanden Plas signs here a quasi masterpiece of progressive metal."
OCERIAN (12.01.2015)  
5/5
(0) opinions (0) comment(s)
Kaiserslautern's formation returns four years after a "Serpahic Clockwork" that generated only moderate enthusiasm given the impression of stagnation of a band that no longer has anything to prove. Andy Kuntz and his band announce the color with a conceptual diptych based on a story co-written with Wolfgang Hohlbein, king of German heroic-fantasy... It is therefore with an ambition and a desire to make a lasting impression that the first part of "Chronicles Of The Immortals" entitled "Part One: Netheworld" will be released this year. This album is in fact an extension of the rock opera Bloodnight (Blutnacht), the result of a collaboration between Vanden Plas and Hohlbein. It is the first part of the show given in 2012 and 2013 with rearranged and partially rewritten titles.

After a narrative introduction, we find ourselves in familiar territory with this style so characteristic of Vanden Plas. Andy Kuntz's vocals, acute and slightly nasal, seems to have gained in technique as well as emotion. The desire and involvement are felt at every moment which is rather logical since he is the main author of the concept. "Vision 2wo The Black Knight" allows you to rediscover the band's incisive rhythms and musicality. Based on a very rigorous rhythmic, the themes developed by Stefan Lill on guitar are most of the time very inspired, as are his solos. This first track alternates parts of prog metal inspiration with calmer moments in which Günter Werno's keyboard works wonders.

The rest of the album is in the same vein in terms of quality. Engaging in an atmosphere that is willingly dark in a minor mode and generally calmer than in previous albums, it allows Günter Werno to spread his class and musicality on each of the tracks according to his luminous arpeggios, his bewitching layers and his captivating solos and melodies. Note the presence of Julia Steingass's female voice on several titles and various choirs ranging from religious to delicacy. Andy Kuntz's vocals are often very calm, controlled and restrained. In contrast, when he lets his power explode, the listener is often grasped and feel a certain vibration. If "Visions 6ix New Vampire" is a remarkable synthesis thanks to a first-rate melodic sense, each track reveals its surprises, source of sublimation and beauty: the solo of "Vision 7ven The King And The Children" is superb, the orchestration and rhythmic of "Vision 9ine Soul Alliance" is particularly well searched... 

It is therefore very difficult to find defects in this 2014 vintage. Some may consider a production a little too cold or complain about the length of some pieces that could have been more efficient if they were more concise. However, there is a strong desire to develop the themes and the pleasure taken in performing this piece. The only thing to fear in the end is that the second part will not be of the same level as the bar has been set so high.

The magic of these fabulous chronicles lies in a perfect symbiosis between keyboards, guitar and vocals, and a perfect balance between the delicacy of the melodies and the power of metallic fire. Vanden Plas' career was littered with quality works and this album is even more impressive.
- Official website

TRACK LISTING:
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 7even - The King and the Children of Lost World
08. Vision 8ight - Misery Affection
09. Vision 9ine - Soul Alliance
10. Vision 10n - Inside

LINEUP:
Andreas Lill: Batterie
Andy Kuntz: Chant
Günter Werno: Claviers
Stephan Lill: Guitares
Torsten Reichert: Basse
   
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