Vanden Plas
Christ O

Release date: April 3rd 2006
Label: InsideOutMusic
Distribution: Target (Denmark)
Progressive Metal

Rating: 92/100
Reviewed by: Kenn Jensen
Date: March 27th 2006

After 4 years of absence Vanden Plas is back with their 5 studio album, but it's not like they have lazy in the 4 years that has passed since "Beyond Daylight". Vocalist Andy Kuntz has off course released his highly acclaimed "Adydos" solo album, while the band has been involved in numerous theatrical productions - first and foremost the "Nostradamus" production, which were performed in Kaiserlautern and Hof.

Vanden Plas proves once more why so many consider them to be Germany's best and most important progressive metal band, always moving forward exploring new directions, and on this album the influences surely reflect what they have been a part of for the past 4 years. Just take a listen to the wonderfully orchestrated "January Sun", which features no less than a 40-pieces classical choir.

Never forgetting their roots, which is the clearest in the straight ahead rocker "Shadow I am", which could easily have been on one of their earlier albums. Or the melancholic ballad "Lost in Silence", which brings back memories from their acoustic album "AcCult" from 1997. And it's not like the band hasn't progressed, because this album is without a doubt their best to date, the most complete and mature one. An album that surely will make a stir in the progressive metal community and beyond...

The 3 main songwriters - guitarist Stephan Lill, vocalist Andy Kuntz and keyboard player GŁnter Werno - have created 10 outstanding progressive metal songs that initially were based on the story of the count of Monte Cristo. The album might not be as accessible as "Beyond Daylight", and I needed a few spins before the album began to sink really in, but now it all flows like a stream...

I will stop praising this wonderful album, and urge all progressive metal fans to get this brilliant piece of music as soon as possible...