@planetmosh reviews Chronicles of the Immortals – Netherworld by Vanden Plas out on .@FrontiersRec
Billed as having been written in co-operation with bestselling German fantasy author Wolfgang Hohlbein, ‘Chronicles of the Immortals – Netherworld’ sees the German Prog-metal 5 piece again chosing to go down the concept album route for their seventh studio album, which is out now on Frontiers Records.
Based on Hohlbein’s ‘Chronicles Of The Immortals’ series of novels and subsequent stage based rock opera ‘Bloodnight’ this album is comprised of 10 musical visions that make up the 1st act of that stage show, but given the Vanden Plas treatment.
The album opens with a short narration to set the scene about the lead character and his battle between two worlds. The music builds slowly with plenty of orchestration and sweeping soundscapes to accompany the excellent guitar of axe-man Stephen Lill.
Those sweeping soundscapes continue throughout the album & bring the listener on the journey with the main protagonist. The faultless vocals of Andy Kuntz accentuate the theatrical stylings of the music and on ‘Vision 5ive A Ghost’s Requiem’ are enhanced even further with some stunning choral vocals.
It is hard to pick out any particular favourite tracks, but rather the album seems to stand as a complete work with facets in each track that are outstanding, such as the eeriness in ‘Godmaker’, the guitar in Soul Alliance or the afore-mentioned choral vocals in a ‘Ghosts Requiem’.
In this release Vanden Plas have managed to get a good balance of the theatrical, balanced it out with great material in which to base their lyrics and put it together with superb musicianship and some stunning vocals. In prog-metal there seems to be a fine balance between theses elements and on this evidence Vanden Plas seem to have got the balance just right. With Netherworld (Path 2) due for release in 2015 it will be interesting to see how the two parts compare with each other.
2.VISION 2wo The Black Knight
3.VISION 3hree Godmaker
4.VISION 4our Misery Affection Prelude
5.VISION 5ive A Ghosts Requiem
6.VISION 6ix New Vampyre
7.VISION 7even The King and the Children of Lost Worlds
8.VISION 8ight Misery Affection
9.VISION 9ine Soul Alliance
10.VISION 10n Inside
Andy Kuntz (vocals)
Stephan Lill (guitars)
Günter Werno (keyboards)
Torsten Reichert (bass)
Andreas Lill (drums)