Album Releases Album Reviews

Vanden Plas – Chronicles of the Immortals – Netherworld II Review

Released by: Frontiers Music

Released date: 6 November 2015

Genre: Progressive Metal

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Andy Kuntz – Vocals

Stephan Lill – Guitar

Günter Werno – Keyboards

Torsten Reichert – Bass

Andreas Lill – Drums


Track Listing:

01. VISION 11even – In My Universe

02. VISION 12elve – Godmaker’s Temptation

03. VISION 13teen – Stone Roses Edge

04. VISION 14teen – Blood of Eden

05. VISION 15teen – Monster

06. VISION 16teen – Diabolica Comedia

07. VISION 17teen – Where Have the Children Gone

08. VISION 18teen – The Last Fight

09. VISION 19teen – Circle of the Devil

Seems like concept albums are all the rage right now, but the latest release from German prog-metal band Vanden Plas is the most ambitious one I’ve seen in quite a while!  As you can see by the title and track listing this is a direct continuation of their previous album COTI-Netherworld I” and you the listener are dropped right into this.  It is a little difficult to go song by song here, because this is is more like a work of theater than a regular rock album.  Given the band’s successful forays into theater, especially the collaboration with author Wolfgang Hohlbein, Bloodnight, this won’t be a surprise to fans, and the new listener should not hesitate to jump in.

There’s a lot of orchestral addition to this, especially in our first two cuts.  This sets a symphonic, almost operatic tone, which is new to me after regular play of Colour Temple or Christ.0.  But the band doesn’t get buried by it at any point, but expands an already powerful sound. “Stone Roses Edge” is the closest we get to a straight out rocker but is classic VP–plenty of proggy heaviness without getting overindulgent about it.  “Blood of Eden” is the epic piece of the project at 13 minutes, alternating between power balled and straight out power.  My personal favorite is “Monster,” which is broody and malevolent. the music builds to a climax of the story in ‘The Last Fight,” while “Circle of the Devil” feels more like an epilogue than a finale.

This is a HUGE, complex album but very well done.  It’s an album that not only needs to be enjoyed in tandem with Volume I in a single sitting but in my opinion, should be enjoyed old school–sitting in front of a record player, following along with the story in a huge gatefold sleeved album package, a glass of wine for contemplative purposes….

Written by: Anton N Meyers

Ratings: Anton 8/10

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