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Vanden Plas - Beyond Daylight (9/10) - Germany - 2002

Genre: Progressive Metal
Label: InsideOut
Playing time: 56:59
Band homepage: Vanden Plas

Tracklist:

  1. Nightwalker
  2. Cold Wind
  3. Scarlet Flowerfields
  4. Healing Tree
  5. End Of All Days
  6. Free The Fire
  7. Can You Hear Me
  8. Phoenix
  9. Beyond Daylight
Vanden Plas - Beyond Daylight
WOW! Is that enough for a review? No? OK, then I guess I'll have to get a little more detailed. Germany's best Progressive Metal-band is back: VANDEN PLAS.

You don't believe me? Pfft, you can, but still, it is true! I am following the German band ever since they released "Colour Temple" all those years back as an indie-release and since then they are part of the crème de la crème of German Prog, no matter what.

After their last two albums "The God Thing" and "Far Off Grace" had been a good bit heavier and more progressive than the debut, "Beyond Daylight" is going back a little towards the sound of "Colour Temple", a little more straight and melodic, which fits them just as well.

Strangely the most progressive song, "Nightwalker", stands right at the front, but it, too, is Progressive Metal at its best. Demanding, yet always accessible song-structures, heavy guitars, brilliant vocals, everything is in its place here. A very intense atmosphere marks the whole album, covering a wide spectrum, be it an emotional, un-sappy ballad ("Can You Hear Me"), heavy, varied mid-tempo ("Cold Wind"), complex stuff ("Nightwalker" and the brilliant "Beyond Daylight") and also straight and crunchy (double-bass-driven "Free The Fire"), they excel at all positions and leave behind the collective Prog Metal-mob by effortlessly moving over into Melodic and even Power Metal without breaking stride or losing flow.

The huge musical potential is always used very song-efficient, they do not float away into senseless frills or brain-twistingly complex passages, but even in "normal" parts show their whole class by simply playing... And with Andy Kuntz they have another gemstone in their ranks, characterising the VANDEN PLAS-sound. Already on "Colour Temple" he could convince me fully and he has further developed into a very charismatic and expressive vocalist, whose variable and characteristic voice completes the songs perfectly, here you realise his experience from musicals.

Progressive Metal-fans of the world, unite and give finally give VANDEN PLAS the attention and support they absolutely deserve ever since their beginnings, you won't find a better combination of demand and accessibility near!

Alexander Melzer



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