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CD Reviews

Vanden Plas - 'The Ghost Xperiment: Awakening' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     April 20, 2020    
 
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An absolute monster of a release.

It has been thirty months since this German Progressive Metal act released their previous album 'Chronicles Of The Immortals: Netherworld (Part 2)'. Since then, they have composed and performed the highly successful Rock Opera called 'Everyman', and also participated in the production of yet another better known Rock Opera – 'Jesus Christ Superstar'. In my opinion, this band have released album after album of exceptional Rock music, and along with Dream Theater I consider them "The Gods Of Progressive Metal", so it was with high anticipation that I settled down to listen to this release.

Their ninth album is another concept release, although this time it is based on an actual documented paranormal experiment. The second part of this concept, 'The Ghost Xperiment; Illumination', is pencilled in for release sometime around late 2020. It's slightly shorter than its predecessors with only six tracks and a running time of just over forty-six minutes. However, this really benefits the project as every song is brilliantly composed.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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The group have yet again produced everything you would expect from them. They have the unique ability to take melodic Heavy Metal and make it sound immense through ambitious yet not overly technical arrangements; for me, this is what sets them apart from their peers. At the moment my favourite tracks are 'The Phantoms Of Prends-Toi-Gardes' and 'Three Ghosts'. Both songs really sum up what this band are all about. They are Symphonic and bombastic with amazing riffs, superb keyboard embellishments and choruses to die for.

This leads me on to vocalist Andy Kuntz, who is in a league of his own with an inherent sense of melody and harmony; this guy is melodic yet powerful with a timeless voice and the consummate storyteller. In fact, the whole group are exceptional throughout and their tightness is testament to a band that have had a consistent line-up since their first album.

As far as I am concerned, this is Vanden Plas' finest hour. The songs are impassioned and elevated to perfection in this genre by well-thought-out musical and lyrical themes, exciting musicianship and an abundance of technical ability. Andy Kuntz, Stephan Lill, Günter Werno, Andreas Lill and Torsten Reichert take a bow as this is an absolute monster of a release. In short, Progressive Melodic Rock perfection and my Album Of The Year so far.

Robin McGhie

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