|Review: Vanden Plas - Chronicles of the Immortals: Netherworld II|
|Chronicles of the Immortals: Netherworld II|
Label: Frontiers Records
Year released: 2015
Genre: Progressive Metal
Review online: October 27, 2016
Reviewed by: Bruno Medeiros
for:Chronicles of the Immortals: Netherworld II
Rated 4.43/5 (88.57%) (7 Votes)
One of the things that I appreciate the most in a band is steadiness, and Vanden Plas has been around for exactly 30 years with the same lineup; this fact alone is worth a grand prize. Chronicles of the Immortals: Netherworld II (following MetalMike's review for the first part of this conceptual story – I won't mention the album name again for the sake of sanity) is the ninth endeavor by the German Prog masters and continues the tale of the Musical "Blutnacht" – a piece about a vampire named Andrej Delãny – which was adapted to studio through a collaboration between the band and German writer Wolfgang Hohlbein, with vocalist Andy Kuntz in charge of writing the lyrics.
Contrary to most Prog Metal bands out there, Vanden Plas won't abuse of your patience with individual exhibitionism. Instead, they will offer you an emotional and atmospheric journey that, while being technical, is also very accessible and easy to digest. Despite being a conceptual play, each track has its own personality: "Vision 11even - In My Universe", for instance, shows a more Heavy Metal side, while "Vision 12elve - Godmaker's Temptation" follows a more melodic path; there's even some groovier and soulful bits like on "Vision 16teen - Diabolica Comedia". All nine tracks have something unique to offer, from orchestrated elements to heavy passages. My favorite is still "Vision 15teen - Monster" though; the song borrows arrangements from the previous album, a practice commonly adopted by bands such as Virgin Steele, mainly from the song "Vision 1ne", and has an evil and melancholic atmosphere, making it a very special and epic tune.
I can't say that Vanden Plas is at its best here because they were never at their worst, and have always released ace albums. This is just another great display in a vast and respectable discography, and is a worthy ending to an attractive and engaging dark fairytale.
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