Power of Metal.dk Review

Vanden Plas
Chronicles of the Immortals: Netherworld (Path 1)
Style: Progressive Metal
Release date: 21 February, 2014
Playing time: 57:37

Why can't the Dutch soccer teams compete anymore with the clubs abroad? Well, because every talent is sold to a foreign club and every year the Dutch clubs need to start with an almost complete new team again. No automatism anymore and you need to start building a team again from scratch. I hear you think what has this to do with the German band Vanden Plas? Well, I found their 1997 album 'The God Thing' on a dusty shelf (yeah yeah, I need to get a housekeeper) and I was surprised that they still have the same line-up! That definitely proved to me that such an excellent album like this new 'Chronicles of the Immortals' is the outcome of consistency.

I wrote in my Appearance of Nothing review that I doubted if there would be a better progressive release this year... Within 2 weeks I have to get back on that remark and I need to tell you that this is even a better release. There is a big concept behind this album and if you are interested in that part, you will find enough about it on the internet. In short you can say that Vanden Plas turned a theatre piece into a metal album and that can be heard because of the opera and big orchestral parts. One thing is for sure, there will be a second album of this concept next year and if the music is as good, I'm already looking forward to it.

There are several things, which make this an excellent album. At first there is Andy Kuntz, his singing is heavenly again and he sees to it that this really is a top album. In several songs he is accompanied by nice female vocals. The music is heavy at times and emotionally and touching when needed. Beautiful piano parts, big orchestrations followed by heavy dark guitar riffs, a sporadic (child) choir and this all excellently balanced in well written songs. In the heavy parts the album sounds dark and heavy because of the low tuned guitars and that sticks to the concept story. Every member playing on the album is skilled to the bone and the mix of the album is complete. If you need an impression of what to expect, I advice you to listen to the third track; "The Godmaker", which can seen below. If you dig that, you will love the entire album.

After every spin I aprreciate the album more and more. If you are into progressive metal and need an album that you will still be playing after a few months, you need to pick this one up. This has to be this site's album of the month, but to make it the album of the month I need to give them a 99 rating because a colleague of mine already rewarded a black metal band with 98...   I need some room to give an even better album this year a higher rating, so I can't reward them with more than the above.


01. Vision 1Ne
Vision 2wo - The Black Night
Vision 3ree - The Godmaker
Vision 4our - Misery Affection Prelude
05. Vision 5ive - A Ghost Requiem
Vision 6ix - New Vampyre
Vision 7even - The King and the Children of Lost World
Vision 8ight - Misery Affection
Vision 9ine - Soul Alliance
Vision 10n - Inside
Label: Frontiers Records
Distribution: Target (Denmark)
Reviewed by: Reinier de Vries
Date: 22 February, 2014
Website: www.vandenplas.de