VANDEN PLAS

(GERMANY)

FAR OFF GRACE

(1999)
LABEL:

INSIDEOUT MUSIC

GENRE:

PROGRESSIVE METAL

TAGS:
Technical
"If bands like Dream Theater practice a symphonic progressive and technical metal without time constraints and which can seem unattractive, Vanden Plas is more on a niche calibrated for energy with a very pleasant simplicity and conciseness."
NUNO777 (29.08.2003)  
4/5
(0) opinions (0) comment(s)
Only two years after the album God Thing, which revealed Kaiserslautern's band, Vanden Plas came out with Far Off Grace. As is often the case with progressive metal bands, the turn of the third album is indicative of confirmation or disillusionment. The German formation has not changed and we still find the same three composers, Stephan Lill and Günter Werno for the music and Andy Kuntz for the lyrics. The very powerful cocktail of which Vanden Plas is the specialist, at the crossroads of classical and progressive metal, does it find its continuity in Far Off Grace? 

The answer is clearly yes and the groove created during The God Thing is more than ever followed on the occasion of this new album. The compositions remain quintessential with a synthetic progressive metal without frills. We remember that the same year, Dream Theater released its Scenes From A Memory, an American masterpiece never repeated. Vanden Plas is on a different level. Like their compatriots in Superior, the Germans prefer short formats (no more than seven minutes) with the extra soul that Dream Theater technicians sometimes lack. Among the songs of this Far Off Grace are the powerful "Into The Sun" and "I Can See" which remain in a luxury power metal register. The progressive elements are more to be found in "Far Off Grace", "Inside Of Your Head" or "Fields Of Hope" with the mix of instrumental sequences and the use of varied sounds for guitars and keyboards.

Vanden Plas' musicians are clearly references, with Andreas Lill's characteristic strike and his brother Stephan's guitar playing always very striking in his riffs or solos. But it is undoubtedly Andy Kuntz's voice that transcends all the musical material of the group to give it its character. In particular, we will appreciate the very beautiful ballad "I Don't Miss You" in which Andy is particularly heartbreaking accompanied by Günter Werno's piano. 

Germany is a breeding ground for heavy and power metal. Vanden Plas is inspired by these melodic formations but adds progressive ingredients that make it unique. If American bands like Dream Theater, Symphony X or Shadow Gallery practice a symphonic progressive and technical metal without time constraints and which can seem unattractive, Vanden Plas is more on a niche calibrated for energy with a very pleasant simplicity and conciseness. Far Off Grace, even if it remains slightly lower than The God Thing, remains an excellent album by Vanden Plas.
- Official website

TRACK LISTING:
01. I Can See
02. Far off Grace
03. Into The Sun
04. Where Is the Man
05. Iodic Rain
06. I Don't Miss You
07. Inside of Your Head
08. Fields Of Hope
09. I'm in You
10. Kiss of Death

LINEUP:
Andreas Lill: Batterie
Andy Kuntz: Chant
Günter Werno: Claviers
Stephan Lill: Guitares
Torsten Reichert: Basse
   
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READERS
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STAFF:
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MY RATING
 
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OTHER REVIEWS
VANDEN PLAS: God Thing - Special Edition (1997)
PROGRESSIVE METAL - Thanks to the intelligent use of various instruments such as the piano, a few strings and synthesizer, "God Thing" imposes Vanden Plas as a band to discover.
WITHIN TEMPTATION: Mother Earth (2001)
MELODIC METAL - "Mother Earth" is simply a reference for symphonic neo-Gothic metal.
 
 
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