Vanden Plas
The Seraphic Live Works

1. Postcard To God
2. Rush Of Silence
3. Holes In The Sky
4. Far Off Grace
5. Scar Of An Angel
6. Quicksilver
7. Cold Wind
8. Frequency
9. Silently

Stephan Lill – Guitar
Andreas Lill – Drums
Günter Werno – Keyboards
Andy Kuntz – Vocals
Torsten Reichert - Bass

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

2014 - Chronicles of the Immortals: Netherworld
2015 - Chronicles of the Immortals: Netherworld II



Released 2017-05-12
Reviewed 2017-06-16



German band Vanden Plas has been around for a long time now, it is twenty years since their debut album The God Thing was released back in 1997 – the quintet was the same then as it is now so it is safe to say that they are all twenty years wiser now. They seem to understand that live albums should be special meaning that a band should not release a million of them during their career. This is their second live album, a recording that has been mothballed for several years. It was recorded during a celebrated performance at the Prog Power festival in Atlanta 2011 – a highlight in their career. And it comes as a DVD and a CD, I can however not comment on the quality of the video as this label thinks a live DVD or BluRay is best reviewed by not seeing the video, just hearing the music. So I can only write about what I hear and not what can be seen.

And I think that it sounds great, as usual when Vanden Plas is doing something. Their performance is flawless, and they are starting it all with an unwritten postcard to God and then it ends silently. In between we go far off grace, see holes in the sky and experience some cold wind. I think they offer a great set list, on the other hand they would have done so whichever songs from their vast catalogue they had selected. Now they have selected nine songs, but none from the aforementioned debut album, and of course none from the time after this 2011 recording. These nine tracks take one hour and eighteen minutes to play through and they are very strong 78 minutes. Great performances on all hands, and even though they sound better one studio album they still have a great album to offer here, it is unfortunate that I can’t write about the video but the audio has much to offer.

I think live albums should be special and this one certainly feels it, they have but together a great album with great songs and a wonderful feel. Even I who don’t really care much for live offerings thinks that it is a rather brilliant release, like it always is when Vanden Plas is concerned. It is one of the highlights of the year, with excellent songs like Far Off Grace and the ending track Silently they really impress anyone listening. The two mentioned tracks are the highlights on an album with nine excellent songs, and the only little flaw I can see is that the studio albums sounds a little bit better but that is almost always the case and this is one of the best live recordings I have heard in a while. It is certainly well worth having a closer look at.

This is a must have for Vanden Plas fans, and for fans of progressive metal in general. It is a great album, and a brilliant live album. It would actually be described as rather dumb not to take a look as this great album, an album that I recommend that all of you have a closer look at. I tip my hat for the German quintet who always manages to come up with great music. This album should not leave them far off grace.



Label: Frontiers Music
Three similar bands: Dream Theater/Pagan's Mind/Rush
Rating: HHHHHHH (5/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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