|Review: Vanden Plas - The Ghost Xperiment - Illumination|
|The Ghost Xperiment - Illumination|
Label: Frontiers Records
Year released: 2020
Genre: Progressive Metal
Review online: December 25, 2020
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
for:The Ghost Xperiment - Illumination
Rated 4.2/5 (84%) (5 Votes)
I'm not a fan of progressive metal as my early encounters with the genre never failed to put me to sleep, but from time to time I like to check out an album and see if it clicks. After all, one's musical tastes tend to change over time. Vanden Plas being one of those bands I've been reading about for 20+ years, that felt like a good choice when their new album landed in my inbox.
I obviously can't compare with their previous albums, but The Ghost Xperiment-Illumination is actually pretty cool. While the music tends to be often quite mellow (one of the things that keep me away from most progressive metal), it is nonetheless very catchy and kind of relaxing and the singer's melodious, yet powerful voice gives the music some punch. It's when the band gets heavier, the guitars crunchier and the drums really pounding that I stand at attention as this becomes something closer to laid-back power metal, if you can call it that. There are a lot of keyboards that add maybe a little too much melody, but they do make the album sound richer; I could just do without them on some of the heavier parts that end up being watered down a little. It's not really something that I would personally listen to on a daily basis, but sometimes you just feel for something more mellow yet metallic enough, and this album certainly fits that niche. Tastes aside, this is a long-running band with a ton of experience (how many bands have had the same lineup since 1986?), and that transpires through every note on The Ghost Xperiment-Illumination. Whether you're into progressive metal or not, this is worth checking out as it's diverse enough to appeal to a large segment of the metal crowd.
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