For as long as I can remember I have always enjoyed Progressive music and have vinyl toting bands like SAGA, KANSAS, YES, DREAM THEATER and many others. I am proud to say I have added VANDEN PLAS to this list. The band has released four full length albums, "Colour Temple" (1994), "AcCult" (acoustic EP 1996), "The God Thing" (1997), "Far Off Grace" (1999), "Spirit Of Live" (2000) and now "Beyond Daylight" (2002).
What can I say? These guys are becoming my newest favourite bands. I could not imagine what the next album will be like. This album is going to be a mainstay in my top ten list of bands. Have you ever listened to something that no matter what you do you can't find something wrong with it? I thin k that's what I've run into here.
Is it completely possible that this band has gotten better since "Colour Temple"? When I saw that this album was released I, with GREAT anticipation opened it up and immediately threw it in my CD player to hear what they had to offer. Seemingly less commercial in a sense of North American standards but no less amazing. Stephan Lill should be offered up an award through one of the guitar player magazines to be deemed guitar player of the year.
All the songs from beginning to end seem to weave a web of complete maturity and incredible musicianship. As I mentioned earlier I love KANSAS and it was truly a pleasure to hear their version of "Point Of No Return". "Free The Fire" is completely one of the best songs on this CD. However, if I was to pick one song that should be the one to really listen for I would say it would have to be "Phoenix".
However, the first time I listened to VANDEN PLAS my first thought was the vocal tracks were a little weak. However, since 1994 Andy has gotten so much better. His vocals on this CD are the strongest that I've ever heard. It was great to hear Gunter shine through in a way that he is almost expected. Listening to his album from beginning to end was a pleasure and I could think nothing better to suggest as a gift to the Prog-head in your family.
If there was ever a wish that I could ask for and it were to come true it would be for VANDEN PLAS come to Canada so I could watch them live as I have enjoyed listening to everything they have written. (Online January 26, 2003)