Vanden Plas - The God Thing review
|Album:||The God Thing|
01. Fire Blossom
03. Garden Of Stones
04. In You: I Believe
05. Day I Die
06. Crown Of Thorns
07. We're Not God
08. Salt In My Wounds
09. You Fly
10. Combien De Larmes [bonus]
11. Spanish Rain [bonus]
12. Days Of Thunder [acoustic version] [bonus]
13. Raining In My Heart [bonus]
The German scene is primarily known for Power Metal iconic bands such as Blind Guardian, Helloween, Gamma Ray or Edguy. Yet a quintet hailing from Kaiserslautern, Germany is making a killing on the progressive scene right now. Vanden Plas second studio album - The God Thing - is a concept album about divinity/religion and it is destined to leave a mark.
These five musicians are influenced by prog bands like Dream Theater while very versed in Heavy Metal. The guitar lines of Stephan Lill are heavy, complex, made for head-banging and beautiful at the same time. Singer Andy Kuntz has a unique voice that is emotive and powerful when need be. The phenomenal Günter Werno on keyboards shows us how to create haunting atmospheres while Torsten Reichert on bass guitar and Andreas Lill (yes, Stephan's brother) on drums provide a rock-solid rhythm foundation to work with.
"Rainmaker" is the standout track on album. It personifies the band's sound to the T: heavy, fluid, creative and bombastic. You may also enjoy the splendid ballad called "Crown of Thorns" with its beautifully created guitar solo fading ending. The other great song on 'The God Thing' is "You Fly". You must hear this one to be someone pretending to know progressive metal. It's simply grandiose.
There is still room for improvement though. Some songs are a little rough around the edges and production could have been more balanced. While some songs are truly remarkable, I get the feeling that the band has not yet reached its full potential in terms of song-writing.
One side of their music that impressed me the most is their ability to render a track heavier and more spellbinding by slowing down the pace at a moment's notice and layering it progressively.
This album stands on its own. Yes, some definite influences from other bands are here. However, the overall sound has a special stamp all over it. Halfway between blinding power and compelling melodies, The God Thing deserves your undivided attention.
Written on 02.09.2003 by
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