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Vanden Plas - Beyond Daylight CD (album) cover


Vanden Plas


Progressive Metal

3.99 | 181 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Founded in 1990, Vanden Plas have consistently released one quality album after another. Although well known in Europe and very popular in Germany and France, they remain relatively unknown in North America.

Everything about Beyond Daylight is well done. The lyrics are dark, abstract and maybe a little incomprehensible at times, but the song structures are very well balanced. Every song is performed with great technical skill and with incredible accuracy. Beyond Daylight is a concept album about an oracle named Killroy Murdoch who is capable of influencing and changing the course of history.

The album is a collection of great guitar riffs that never remain at the forefront for extended periods of time, thrilling drum work, wonderful sensitive keyboards, brilliant vocal harmonies all combined and performed with energy for an unforgettable, expressive, melodic, progressive metal experience.

No one instrument is highlighted here, what you get instead are a bunch of modest but very talented musicians who serve the music first, and they do it with style and with professionalism. Yes there are some unexpected and amazing solos, but Stephan Lill is much more discreet than Dream Theater's John Petrucci.

You will be treated to some emotional melancholic ballads with some acoustic guitar moments and some excellent mood creating keyboards. Included are some mid-tempo heavy rock tracks, further complex progressive sections, some full orchestrations and some straight-up double-bass-driven power metal stuff. How Vanden Plas manage to effortlessly move from melodic metal to symphonic metal to power metal without breaking a single stride is a masterstroke of prog metal and a testament to the brilliance of the band!

Every song emphasizes one thing or another:

1. "Nightwalker" - complex, experimental elements, some very cool moments

2. "Cold Wind" - another mid-to-fast paced track, 100% prog metal

3. "Scarlet Flower Fields" - melancholic, melodic, powerful harmonies

4. "Healing Tree" - power ballad, fascinating guitar rhythms, phenomenal solo

5. "End Of All Days" - slow opening but quickly moves into fast-paced progressive-fest territory

6. "Free The Fire" - Best opening I've heard in awhile, some power metal influences

7. "Can You Hear Me" - soft piano ballad

8. "Phoenix" - Piano intro is very familiar, and when the band kick it in, man this song is good...beautiful emotional guitar solo

9. "Beyond Daylight" - Mostly soft but it has a little bit of everything

10. "Point Of Know Return" - bonus track - Cover of Kansas classic, a bonus track is always a bonus! ;)

Concluding Remarks:

Not depressing nor threatening in any way. Listening to this album actually feels comforting as you are filled with a sense of the very familiar. It's not too heavy and not to light, exactly what a progressive metal album should be like - with the exception of the unexplainable lyrics, the only reason why the album gets a 4/5 star rating.

Certainly worth adding to any prog metal aficionados collection!

Vanwarp | 4/5 |


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