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Vanden Plas - The Seraphic Clockwork CD (album) cover


Vanden Plas


Progressive Metal

3.85 | 177 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars Solid sixth effort from Vanden Plas, gifted progressive metal band from Germany. The Seraphic Clockwork is a concept album based on a science fiction story written by singer Andy Kuntz about a man travelling back in time from 16th century Rome to 33AD Jerusalem to face his ineluctable fate.

All songs are a well-balanced mix of power, melody and technical prowess. The execution is spotless, and the production is professional and powerful. Stephan Lill's sharp guitars provide strong riffs throughout the album and are the absolute protagonist in shaping the structure of the songs. Keyboardist GŁnter Werno also deserves a special mention: his synth and keyboard textures work as an indispensable contrast to the heavier guitar sections and help keep the songs fresh and engaging (check out his excellent work on the ballad 'Quicksilver' or in the heavier and darker 'Rush of Silence'). Andy Kuntz is a gifted and technical vocalist and 'The Seraphic Clockwork' is in fact a very vocal-centered album which lives its best moments when the vocal melodies really shine, like in the powerful 'Holes in the Sky' or in the variegated and more complex 'On My Way to Jersulam'. Similarly, when the vocal melodies are less inspired (like in the rather ordinary 'Sound of Blood') the songs fall flat and remain forgettable.

The biggest limit of the material is - in my opinion - its lack of originality, as all riffs and melodies share similarities with those proposed by other successful prog-metal acts such as Evergrey, Dream Theatre, Seventh Wonder or Shadow Gallery. But, all in all, this is a strong effort and an excellent exercise in (heavy) progressive metal music, and if you are a fan of any of the bands mentioned above you'll certainly enjoy this as well.

lukretio | 3/5 |


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