When I had read about singer Oliver Hartmann leaving AT VANCE, I was quite a bit shocked, because I think that he is one of the best singers we have here in Germany, with his melodic, but a bit rough voice, which has something that many are lacking: character. He could truly leave his imprint on a song with his characteristic voice and this trademark now is gone. I was really wondering, who could try to replace him and the answer of the band was: Mats Levén, Swedish singer, formerly with TREAT and ABSTRAKT ALGEBRA. A good singer, but would he also work with the Power Metal of the Germans? Let's see…
"The Evil In You" is their fifth album already and, I think, the first one not to feature a cover version, but that only as a side note… Musically not much has changed and in Power Metal AT VANCE truly manage to have at least their own touch that you can detect as AT VANCE, in the way of the riffing and also the structure of the songs and from the beginning it becomes evident that even though he, of course, has a different voice, but that Levén definitely can fill the gap that Hartmann had created.
"Fallen Angel" is the in-style fast Power Metal smasher right at the beginning, double bass driven, with the typical AT VANCE riffing and the soaring vocals of Levén, while the title track is immensely catchy and lingers on the border to Rock at times, but still stands in the tradition of the Germans' compositions from the past, trust me, once you've heard this song even once only, you won't get it out of your brain anymore!
Also afterwards we are treated with a good balance between up tempo smashers like "The Curtain Will Fall" or the aggressive "Right Or Wrong" and melodic Rockers as "One Million Times" as example. But also balladesque stuff like "Shining Star" or something that mixes the whole spectrum in one, "Princess Of Ice", are on offer and with a good quality as well! So thumbs up here.
AT VANCE always had been one of the most underrated Power Metal bands out there, always getting thrown into the same pot as all the many seventh clones of seventh clones. The change from Hartmann to Levén was smooth and even though his voice, obviously, is different, it still fits the sound of the Germans very well indeed. "The Evil In You" might not be a high flyer, but a good, above average Power Metal album it is for sure, so you know what you'll have to do! (Online July 17, 2003)