Vanden Plas
Chronicles Of The Immortals - Netherworld (Path 1)

01. Vision 1ne
02. Vision 2wo * The Black Knight *
03. Vision 3hree * Godmaker *
04. Vision 4our * Misery Affection Preluse *
05. Vision 5ive * A Ghosts Requiem *
06. Vision 6ix * New Vampyre *
07. Vision 7ven * The King And The Children Of Lost World *
08. Vision 8ight * Misery Affection *
09. Vision 9ine * Soul Alliance *
10. Vision 10n * Inside *

Andy Kuntz - vocals
Stephan Lill - guitars
Günter Werno - keyboards
Torsten Reichert - bass
Andreas Lill - drums

1994 - Colour Temple
1997 - The God Thing
1999 - Far Off Grace
2000 - Spirit of Live (live)
2002 - Beyond Daylight
2006 - Christ 0
2010 - The Seraphic Clockwork

Stephan Hugo - Vocals (choirs)
Lisana Hunsinger - Vocals (choirs)
Jutta Mitschke - Vocals (choirs)
Ines Pawlowski - Vocals (choirs)
Johannes Zimnol - Vocals (choirs)
Julia Hach - Vocals (choirs)
Heike Dechert - Vocals (choirs)
Sarah Bohnert - Vocals (choirs)
Julia Steingass - Vocals (additional) (Tracks 4, 5, 7, 8, 10)
Christian Köbler - Vocals (backing), Vocals (choirs)
Manuel Lothschütz - Vocals (backing)
Dave Esser - Narration

The album is based on the "Chronicles of the Immortals" books by German author Wolfgang Hohlbein who also collaborated for this album's writting process.
Markus Teske - Producer, Recording, Mixing, Mastering
Stanis-W Decker - Artwork
Philip Galbavy - Photography
Günter Werno - Recording (choirs)

Released 2014-02-21
Reviewed 2014-04-09


Once again we have been left to wait for a while for the new offering by German progressive metal giants Vanden Plas. Their new offering is an adaptation of their big stage production that was co-written with best selling author Wolfgang Hohlbein and was played in front of full houses at 25 occasions. Now this successful play sees the light of day in album format, impressive cover artwork on this story told in ten chapters. The story called Blutnacht in german is a part of Hohlbein’s stories Chronicles of the Immortals. The stage production was a big success according to what I have read but what about the same story in album form? This is part one of two, part two is said to be released in 2015.

In a way it offers typical Vanden Plas music, it is grande, epic, progressive, exciting, it is built like story and comes through as an epos of great magnitude. It is the same band as ever and they produce their material as good as ever, with classical symphonies, majestic choirs they take their music to another level. The sound is excellent, there is probably nothing to complain about in that department and they are even fairly original seeing that from the early going they came out as much of a Dream Theater clone on albums like the brilliant Far off Grace of The God Thing. This Dream Theater thing is still not completely gone, there are some striking similarities with said progressive metal pioneers and I feel I can here several passages of Scenes From A Memory through this album. I wonder if that is an inspiration, if so there are few better inspirations to have. Anyway, this does not mean that the album sounds anything like said album, just that some parts strike me as being very similar but that is probably because I have heard Scenes From a Memory a Million Times.

The ten tracks on this album plays for 56 minutes and each represent a vision, and they are all leading towards a climactic second act which we will get to hear later on. The variation over these tracks is very big and the depth is quite staggering as well, there is a lot to discover for each new time one listens to the album. The only negative might be that it will require some attention to fully bloom inside the listeners mind.

I would say that this is a very impressive album, the best effort so far by Vanden Plas. Sure I have not heard the one that preceded this album so I might be wrong there but I do know that it is the best album I have heard this far this year. I think all the dimensions and the majesty of this album is addictive and it is easy to play this album over and over, and the one looking for flaws will not find much and will also have to look very hard for the few there is. Did I mention that I am impressed by this amazing album?

I think that if you like progressive metal there is no excuse not to get this album, and if you like music in general there is really no excuse not to get this album either. It is an amazing composition, a great piece of storytelling and a showcase of german metal at its best. It might be the most impressive german album in a very long time but I’ll reserve judgement on that until I have a bit more distance to it. Anyway, you would do yourself a major disservice if you didn’t at least have a very long and hard look at this brilliant album. I think I’ll buy it, I suggest you do as well.



Label: Frontiers Records
Three similar bands: Dream Theater/Pagan's Mind/Rush
Rating: HHHHHHH (6/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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