Man, have it truly already been six years since I by chance found a CD in a record-shop in Bayreuth, which somehow appealed to me? I never had heard the name of VANDEN PLAS before, never seen the cover before, had absolutely no clue as to what would await me musically, but still I took the CD, listened to it and was blown away! That the album would see a regular release via InsideOut Music later was something I couldn't know back then, but this means that I possess one of the quite rare first editions, which the band had released themselves...
Contrary to their later, more progressive, albums "The God Thing" and "Far-Off Grace" we get brilliant Melodic Metal with some progressive influences, which are rather to the background and are most felt, when they are handing out the variable arrangements in stead of straightly powering through the compositions. Within these, VANDEN PLAS masterly combine demanding structures with incredibly catchy and strong melody-lines, which just drill themselves into your brain, no matter what you might try to do against it.
In Andy Kuntz they also have an excellent vocalist, who masters both the emotional and the rough side of his voice, lending the expertly arranged songs just that certain something that they needed for their almost-perfection!
Listen to the intensive "Where The Wind Blows", the brilliant "Soul Survives", the heavy "Judas" or the equally brilliant "How Many Tears" and you will understand what I mean, but basically I could name each and every track as check-out-tip!
For an indie-release (what it had been back then when I had bought it) this album has a very clear and powerful production and I must say that this album still is in the top 3 of the best indie-releases I have and it'll be damn hard to get it out of there!