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Review: Vanden Plas - The God Thing
Vanden Plas
The God Thing

Label: Inside Out Music
Year released: 1997
Duration: 56:38
Tracks: 9
Genre: Progressive Metal


Review online: March 20, 2009
Reviewed by: Bruce Dragonchaser
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Rated 3.85/5 (76.92%) (13 Votes)

Possibly my second favourite Prog Metal band next to Swedish masters Pain of Salvation, Germany's Vanden Plas really kicked things up a notch with 1997's sophomore effort The God Thing, an absolute beast of an album that, like every one that succeeded it, doesn't waste a second, merely bombarding the listener with a delectable platter of pure, unadulterated sophistication. Things certainly changed for the better with The God Thing, and from the success that followed in its wake, I'm extremely glad that they did.

Their infamous title as Germany's answer to Dream Theater is perhaps an antiquated notion when considering how many of those have appeared since the late 90s, but the mind-bending instrumentation and esoteric lyrical landscapes of the aforementioned generic masters still take up a large portion of The God Thing's sound, although its their early Images And Words period that shines brightest, particularly in tracks such as the enveloping "Garden of Stones", and the epic "We're Not God". For those who have yet to encounter the genius that is Vanden Plas, just think of a hook-laden melange of LaBrie and co mixed with the riffing of Shadow Gallery, the majesty of early Queensryche, and the quiet melody of Mob Rules, which the bass-driven "In You: I Believe" and the live standard "Rainmaker" will adequately attest to whilst you pick your jaws up off the floor.

The production took a giant leap from their cagy debut too, highlighting the ethereal soar of Andy Kuntz's sweetened vocals, the finesse of Stephan Lill's intelligent leads, and the theatrical veil of Gunter Werno's keys against the colossal rhythmical backdrop of bassist Torsten Reichert, and percussive wizard Andreas Lill. Their most focused release to date, The God Thing is an absolute must for all fans of quality Progressive Metal.

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