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Vanden Plas - Christ 0 CD (album) cover

CHRIST 0

Vanden Plas

 

Progressive Metal

4.04 | 172 ratings

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msteele
4 stars I've been a big Vanden Plas fan for many years now. I've always been a fan of their slower more epic ballads such as I Don't Miss You & Crown of Thorns. It's no secret that Vanden Plas has had progressive aspirations in the vein of Dream Theater, but in my humble opinion, they've never had the progressive edge until Christ 0.

This album was obviously designed to showcase the bands progressive chops and at first listen, I was amazed at how much they have improved progressively. But along that path, I think something was sacrificed. Christ 0 is so progressive and heavy that there is very little trace of what hooked me to begin with, their ballads and emotional songwriting.

Don't get me wrong though, this is in my opinion the best Vanden Plas album to date. I'd just like to see the band not completely lose that more emotional side for an all out prog-metal sound. Now that we know they have the progressive chops, I'd like to see more emotion brought back and then I think we'll really see the best of Vanden Plas.

One thing I noticed from this album is that most of the songs stay true to a very similar pattern. The songs start out on a pretty heavy epic scale and tone down with a basic beat and layed back bass line. Then the progressive single note off-beat chugging guitars come in before leading into a double bass filled chorus. I love the sound they have crafted, but they use this pattern on many songs which loses a bit for me on the creative side.

The last tune, Gethsemane is worth mention because of Kunt's vocals. His vocals on this song are outstanding and I was almost shocked when I heard what he does. He sings a note that at first appeared out of his range, but he held the note for a very long time without any kind of vibrato! I don't know if this was his natural voice talent or produced through digital help ala auto-tune but I was very impressed and have since had to re-play that section over and over to evaluate it. It's VERY VERY difficult to belt a very powerful high note out and not have your voice shake at all! If this really was his voice, he's got one hell of an instrument there!

In all, if you're a Vanden fan, Christ 0 is an obvious choice. If you love prog metal in the vein of Dream Theater, you'll love this album. I think Christ 0 is actually heavier sounding than most later DT offerings. An overall great album and an impressive progressive achievement past what I thought Vanden Plas were capable of. Bring back more emotion and creativity to their song arrangements and they will have a masterpiece on their hands. Christ 0 very close though.

Do not let this one slip by you!

| 4/5 |

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