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Vanden Plas - Christ 0 CD (album) cover

CHRIST 0

Vanden Plas

 

Progressive Metal

3.98 | 190 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Kilroy Murdoch
5 stars Superb Comeback from Vanden Plas. We've got the old Vanden Plas style in a new modern and more extreme guise.

10 tracks of wonderful Symphonic Theatrical Metal. This album is one of few that I am just unable to stop listening to. The Instrumentation is brilliant again from all members and structures are very unique. Lyrically it's a concept album based on a modern version of the Count of Monte Cristo, so i won't go into them all individually. They are very metaphorical and beautiful using solid imagery and symbolism to describe the concept in a typical Vanden Plas style...

Christ 0 - As it starts playing, naturally one turns up the volume to high levels, and you hear a deep atmospheric synth sound eventually crashing in with a 40 piece choir and orchestra with punching guitars. The pace of this song as the riff starts is symbolic of the entire album. It's much quicker and pacier than the last VP album, Beyond Daylight. Stephan Lill's guitaring is solid, the composition giving a wonderful chorus. Not much to say apart from "Epic" It is like something you might hear in a musical...but VERY HEAVY. The song contains some interesting drum work from Andy Lill, some fills you might hear in a very heavy metal band like Lamb of God. then the final chorus brings the 40 piece choir back again and the song ends with the crunching riff we heard at the beginning.

Postcard to God - Starts of with a mid-tempo but very heavy riff, eventually picking up pace and breaking into a different time signature before teh verse, which is going back to Far off Grace. It's good that they include elements from Old albums, but then have some things that are completely different. There is a heavy prominent bass in the floating chorus .Very fast bridge with some good keys work from Gunter Werno doing a lead before a staccato fast riff and guitar solo.

Wish you Were Here - A 10 minute long track, providing many different styles and variation of pace. Vocals stand out on this track...There is also some quality acoustic guitar work from Lill. Song breaks down in the middle then builds into heavy instrumental passage then back into the chorus. One of the weaker tracks on the album...but it's still amazing. A Slow Headbanging type beat at the end of this track..going into an outro solo

Silently - One of the best on the album in my opinion. Starts with coordinated drumming and guitar breaking into a double bass pedal with palm muted guitar. This song is interestingly arranged. There is a normal sort of song structure but then on what might be the final chorus it breaks into an unbelievably heavy and fast riff with soaring vocals over the top... then this passage and phrase is progressed till the end of the song, where the guitar and keys exchange their parts. It really is a beautiful piece of music, and that is an understatement.

Shadow I Am - Could be taken straight off of the God thing. Though that's not a bad thing. It's a reasonably straightforward rocking number; a good listen. A really REALLY heavy ending to this song picking up the pace just before breaking it down on...

Fireroses Dance - Solid Ballad breaking into a groovey blues type riff mid way through. The vocals are very musical-esque here. Kuntz starting with a very soft voice then seemlessly moving into very powerful and strong vocals, where you can feel his passion for the lyrics. The song ends quietly and goes into...

Somewhere Alone in the Dark - The Heaviest Track on the album. A Pacier verse here than some of the other tracks where the verse usually slows, yet this time it's the pre- chorus that slows before a bombastic chorus with a lot of chug from the guitars, some change of time signatures here before refrains where keys dominate in a "system noises" type way. There is then this unbelievably heavy breakdown again sounding like something Lamb of God might do...Downtuned guitar and dirty riffage before a chugging solo...Awesome stuff, completely contrasting with the track before.

January Sun - Amazing song. 10 minutes long, shuffle Jazz-style passages in the verses. Amazing intensity...with a beautiful chorus moving into a a groove and heavy sort of riff. This is broken down by an ornamental section using the orchestra heavily and is then built back up again to the heavy riffs present before. Moving into even heavier riffs with the orchestra and choir backing everything up as a sort of grand finale to the album..or concept at least :D A beautiful passage at the end, just piano and vocals with orchestra...it's a repetition of the beginning of the song, making it "framed" as it were.

Lost in Silence - A sort of Epilogue it seems to the story. Written by Kuntz himself, he sings wonderfully, with less predictable melodies...the only full acoustic number on the album. A nice relaxing listen after everything else heard.

A brilliant finish, leaving the listener uplifted and saturated with amazing precise progressive metal. You won't feel like doing anything apart from listening back to it in your head....then possibly the CD again.

!STOP PRESS!

Bonus Track - Gethsemane - A brilliant version of ALW and TR's Gethsemane...arranged better than i've ever heard it before...It fits with the VP style completely but Kuntz does one of his best performances i've ever heard on this track...hitting notes i've never heard him sing before....An awesome bonus to an awesome album.

If you've ever liked any Vanden Plas, you'll love this CD. Hopefully this will bring VP the respect they deserve in 2006...

Kilroy Murdoch | 5/5 |

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