|Review: At Vance - Only Human|
Label: AFM Records
Year released: 2002
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: October 30, 2015
Reviewed by: Bruce Dragonchaser
Power Metal fans, listen up. Are you looking for a solid blind purchase? Well, you've come to the right place. This was fourth At Vance album, the last one with Oliver Hartmann on vocals, and it's by far the best record they ever made. Everything about this band just seemed to come together for this album, from the neo-classical guitars of Oliver Lenk to the soaring, chesty vocals of Hartmann. During this period the band were unstoppable, and somehow they managed to capture that vibe and put it out as Only Human.
This sounds like a Power Metal album from 2002, which I love, and it falls right in there with Edguy, Gamma Ray, Freedom Call, and all the other German acts, meaning plenty of keyboards, backing choirs, double kick drums, and killer songs. Without a doubt this is the band's high point as songwriters, showing great diversity with tunes like speedy opener "The Time Has Come", the rocking "Fly To The Rainbow", and the best tune on here, the title cut, which has a hook you will never forget. The album is a real grower, too, with later tracks starting to sound better the more you spin them. Every time I have this I always end up digging second half wonders like the mournful "Wings to Fly" and the double kicked "Witches Dance". Lenk's greatest classical cover is on here, too, the wonderful "Spring" from Vivaldi's Four Seasons.
So if you're looking for a Power Metal jewel from back in the day but have nowhere to turn, order yourself a copy of Only Human to get a fistful of hard rocking neo-classical metal. Great stuff.
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