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Vanden Plas - Beyond Daylight CD (album) cover


Vanden Plas


Progressive Metal

4.01 | 176 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars It seems that most bands in the prog-metal genre are immediately compared to Dream Theater. If they sound like DT, then there is criticism from certain factions, yet piqued curiousity from other factions. It's amazing to see one band so dominate the discussion of a musical genre, but there you have it. The reason I bring this up is that Vanden Plas does indeed sound very much like Kevin Moore era DT. So much so that you can actually hear bits on this album that make you immediately think of a corresponding DT song. The bits are very brief, a guitar riff here or a drum fill there, or somthing familiar from the keyboards.

However, this is not to say that they are a direct copy of DT. They are not, even if they do sound very familiar. Vanden Plas writes music that does stand on its own very well. I hate ballads with a passion, yet I have to admit that VP does a much better job at them than does DT. I consider Images and Words to be a nearly perfect prog-metal album, except for the first 2 ballads which are so sappy and awful that I've permanent programmed that cd to skip those two tracks. VP makes their ballads a bit more melancholy sounding and less "upbeat". That helps get arid of the sap factor for me.

Another plus for this album is that it is mixed so well. Having an audiophile sound system (VMPS RM40, Classe amps, Krell preamp) really allows me to hear the production quality of recordings. The drums sound great, the guitars are nice and crunchy, and the vocals are etherial and yet powerful. The special edition version of this recording has a bonus track, a cover of Kansas - Point of No Return. However, here the mixing isn't very good as the keyboards are all but drowned out by the guitars. So the familiar keyboard hooks of that classic song are almost missing. However, it is interesting to hear the song done in a heavy metal style, definitely unique.

If you are a Dream Theater fan like I am, then I think you'll really enjoy this disc. It comprises everything you enjoy with the Kevin Moore era with very little extraneous fluff.

| 4/5 |


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