It's always a surprise who will be the members on a new At Vance issue. In 10 years At Vance has produced eight albums and had 11 member changes. Is it that difficult to be in a band with Olaf Lenk? Fortunately Rick Altzi (Treasure Land), Mats Leven's successor, is still singing on the new album. On their previous album simply called 'VII', he did a more than good job. Bass player "Wolfmann Black" (whoever that is?) is the only new guy this time.
The bands career has some similarity with another German band I reviewed last week: Metalium. They started almost simultaneously and they produce albums at the same speed and frequency. Another thing that corresponds is that they both stick to their style. With every album you know what to expect and that is as well their power as their pitfall.
If you are a fan of At Vance, you will adore their new album 'Ride the Sky'. The with melodic hardrock interwoven Euro powermetal with neo-classical influences is still At Vance's trademark. Opener "Ride the Sky" is an up-tempo song that has all those ingredients embedded. Rick Altzi still sounds like a young Coverdale and Jeff Scott Soto offspring and there are worse people to be compared with.
"Torn - Burning Like Fire" is a slow but heavy track, after which the tempo goes up again in "Last In Line". Of course the neoclassical influenced guitarsolos of main man Olaf Lenk are of excellent quality again and in Vivaldi's "Summer 2nd Set" they don't forget (as almost on every album) to give their interpretation of a well known classical part.
Again a good album with now surprises at all, yet I get a little less bored by their music than with the new Metalium album, that's why I like this one better. Fans know what to do. Others who like to hear a mixture of Whitesnake and Yngwie can check this one out too. An album without risks, but who cares? Hasn't AC/DC also been doing the same thing since they started?