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Vanden Plas
Christ 0
June 2006
Released: 2006, Inside Out Music
Rating: 5.0/5
Reviewer: MetalChick

Vanden Plas is back with their greatest album to date. The ratio of heavy songs to not so heavy songs is much greater; almost every one is carried by a crunching riff, and guitarist Stephan Lill takes many more opportunities to do some shredding. The prog elements they’ve always implemented so well are still as strong and tight in their songwriting as ever. The production is also worth commending; especially in the guitar sound, everything is so powerful. It’s not often that an album hooks me on the first listen, but Vanden Plas had me in their grasp from the start.

"Silently" is a song that cannot go without mentioning. The classic Vanden Plas style of basic riff under atmospheric keyboard chords drive the song, but the incorporation of slow piano with orchestral parts that blast into a heavy melodic chorus with dead on vocals is what makes this song so amazing. "Fireroses Dance" is the better of the slow tunes, filled with more of that piano/orchestra combo. They can’t help but heavy it up about three minutes in, though, but it’s a smooth progression in an overall beautiful song. My other favorite on this album is "Somewhere Alone in the Dark." The piano/guitar layering is at its peak here, and this may stand as the heaviest track on the album. It holds within it the most incredible guitar and keyboard shred harmony section I’ve heard in a long time.

The only qualm I have – and it’s a small one – is that I would have liked to hear more keyboard solos. Gunter Werno is an excellent player and performs no less than expected in the solos he does take here. I’m a sucker for piano in metal and he has satisfied me quite well in that respect. Vanden Plas fans who do not get this immediately should not wait a second longer, and prog fans who know what’s best for them will do the same.
Track Listing

1. Christ 0
2. Postcard to God
3. Wish You Where Here
4. Silently
5. Shadow I Am
6. Fireroses Dance
7. Somewhere Alone in the Dark
8. January Sun
9. Lost in Silence
10. Gethsemane


Andy Kuntz - vocals
Stephan Lill - guitar
Torsten Reichert - bass
Gunter Werno - keys
Andreas Lill - drums

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