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Vanden Plas

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Vanden Plas Christ 0 album cover
4.04 | 256 ratings | 16 reviews | 35% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2006

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Christ 0 (5:37)
2. Postcard To God (6:19)
3. Wish You Were Here (9:16)
4. Silently (8:33)
5. Shadow I Am (5:30)
6. Fireroses Dance (6:05)
7. Somewhere Alone In The Dark (5:32)
8. January Sun (10:07)
9. Lost In Silence (4:21)

Total time 61:20

Bonus Track on 2006 & 2010 Limited editions:
10. Gethsemane (6:18)

Line-up / Musicians

- Andy Kuntz / lead & backing vocals
- Stephan Lill / guitars
- GŁnter Werno / keyboards
- Torsten Reichert / bass
- Andreas Lill / drums

- Jojo Nimtz / backing vocals
- Extra-choir des Pfalztheaters Kaiserslautern / chorus (1,2,6,9)
- Uli Nolte / choir director

Releases information

Artwork: Thomas Ewerhard

CD InsideOut Records - IOMCD 239 (2006, Germany) Limited edition w/ bonus track (cover of a song from "Jesus Christ Superstar" rock opera)
CD Inside Out Music ‎- 0501662 (2010, Germany) Limited edition w/ bonus track

Thanks to Vaiccoco for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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VANDEN PLAS Christ 0 ratings distribution

(256 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(35%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
Good, but non-essential (18%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)

VANDEN PLAS Christ 0 reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by 1800iareyay
4 stars Christ 0 is one of the finest releases of 2006. It is a concept album where a muderer (title charcter) is pursued by Inspector X. The band never lets up from the heaviness, and Andy Kuntz is a rising star amongst metal vocalists. The guitars and drums are nothing short of crushing, making Dream Theater's heaviest movements look tame. The concept is held together well but even ignoring the concept you get strong indiviudal songs. Standout tracks are the opener, the riff-heavy Somewhere Alone in the Dark, and Postcard to God, but every track is killer. The bonus track, a reworking of the Jesus Christ Superstar song Gethsemane, is very interesting, with a metallic revision. Kuntz's vocals can't compare with Ian Gillan's original performance, but he does give one of his best performances on this excellent cover.

Though everything is well-executed, this isn't quite a masterpiece, though this band has already made some great music, and if Christ 0 is any indicator of future output, Vanden Plas will be at the top of the prog metal heap very soon. Highly recommended.

Grade: B+

Review by sleeper
4 stars After a wait of four years, Vanden Plas have finally released their fifth album, Christ 0, an album that many fans hoped would be a stunning piece of Prog-metal following their very strong previous release Beyond Daylight. This album is a concept album loosely based around the lead character from Alexander Dumas' novel The Count of Monty Christo, Edmond Dantes, renamed Christ 0 here, though set in a more modern seen and it equally follows the detective, Inspector X, that is trying to catch him. Consequently, its moved some way from the original source materiel.

For those that don't know, Vanden Plas are a technical, but very melodic, Prog metal band in the vein of Dream Theater but without all the outrageous solos that are very common from Dream Theater. I bought this album on its release and its taken me this long to just work out why it has never hit me as a five star masterpiece. Its definitely a good album but its not a stunner and its not quite so obvious on the surface why.

The powerful concept of this album, the journey of 0 to gain vengeance against those that wronged him and the journey of X to catch 0 as well as the journey within himself, inevitably takes the listener on a journey through the two characters, something done extremely well through the often very catchy lyrics of Andy Kuntz. Invariably, though, this is a very dark album, far more so than the bands previous work Beyond Daylight, with an unrelenting feeling of despair, doom and gloom that gives it a strong character. This feeling is brought out by the powerful, driving guitar lines of Stephan Lill, the haunting, and occasionally extravagant, keyboard runs of Gunter Werno, the dynamic and intricate bass work of the under- appreciated Torsten Reichert and the explosive, yet controlled, drumming of Andreas Lill.

It all sounds like the album has come up (fire)roses so far but the perfectly crafted atmosphere of the album ends up being its own Achilles Heel, specifically in the way that its been done. After a few listens you realize that, though there are no weak tracks here, a feeling that some of the tracks are all just a bit too similar creeps in. Sadly this means that Christ 0, Silently, Fireroses Dance and Lost In Silence are the only tracks that come out feeling truly unique on the album with the others tending to feel like they were all created similarly, though the differences are strong enough to prevent you from ever really getting bored of the album.

Overall I'll give the album a very strong 4 stars, it's a very good album and one that I will enjoy for a long while to come, even if I have had it for a year already. If this album had the level of diversity and dynamic that was present on Beyond Daylight I would have given this 5 stars, but then maybe the dark atmosphere that is so integral to making this a successful concept album would not be as prevalent as it is. For those that get one of the early pressing's in the slipcase you get a bonus track at the end of the album, Gethsemane. As you may have guessed it's a cover from Jesus Christ Superstar, a performance of which singer Andy Kuntz and guitarist Stephan Lill were involved with about a year or two before the release of the album. It's a surprisingly good song, very different to the rest of the album and makes for some good relief after all that doom and gloom, particularly notable for the impressive vocal performance of Kuntz.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars As far as how the music has evolved from their debut album in 1994 "Colour Temple", this newest album by Vanden Plas is probably the best offering. Their musical ideas and concepts have matured in such a way that the compositions featured here in this album are tight, combining layers of keyboard with heavy riffs and in a good harmony. Listening to this album, one would remember the music of Dream Theater, Symphony X, Fates Warning, Royal Hunt even though none of them are truly alike musically. But each of them shares the same music sub genre under progressive metal category. At first experience I listened to "Far Off Grace" album, this band sounded like a power metal band. Even worse, I did not consider "Far Off Grace" as a solid album that stands out for consideration. But when I listened to "Crist.0" for the first time through my i-Rock! colleague, Andre Solucite, who adored this new album by Vanden Plas. At first I was so reluctant with his invitation to listen to this album. But at an occasion when i-Rock! held a meeting he played me this album. I agreed with him that this new album by Vanden Plas demonstrated better music as compared to previous albums.

From the opening track "Christ 0" (5:37), you can immediately sense how excellent the composition is. It demonstrates clearly how the band produces progressive metal heavy riffs combined with layers of keyboard by Gunter Werno. The structure of the song seems like a straight rock music but when it is combined with the textures and nice melody, it becomes something interesting. The follow-up track "Postcard To God" (6:19) sounds like a bllad music with prog metal scene. The piano shot at the opening of "Silently" gives excellent break after heavy rhythm section of previous track "Wish YouWere Here" (nothing to do with Pink Floyd track!) evn though it continues with heavy riffs and power metal style. "Fireroses Dance" (6:05) is a nice ballad slow rock with piano and cello / violin as background. "January Sun" (10:07) is an excellent track with relatively long duration, great melody and tight composition!

It's definitely an excellent addition to any prog metal music collection. It has tight composition, powerful song writing and flawless performance. Recommended. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Review by progrules
5 stars Although I'm a great proglover I can be a bit choosy for the real thing, don't go overboard too quickly about a band or an album. But this one we're talking about right now, that's the real thing !! A superb album, I already knew Vandenplas was great, but they have excelled themselves here ! My personal criterion for giving 5 stars are two possibilities: 1) the album has to be overall very very good OR 2) there have to be at least three songs of absolute top class on the album. This album satisfies in both criterions. But especially the 3 songs that are of the very highest class are January Sun, Silently and best of all: Wish you were here. I'm in love with these three songs, they are the best prog metal can offer in my opinion. Simply UNBELIEVABLE !! Some of the other songs are also worthwile, like Christ0, Postcard to God and Fireroses Dance.

This could be one of the best albums ever, but of course it's always a matter of taste. 5+ stars !!

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars When I pulled the liner notes out and saw the picture on the back it actually startled me. Why ? Because it's the same guy who's on the cover of KARMAKANIC's "Who's the Boss In The Factory ?". I swear it's the same freaking guy ! Same hat, face, cigar,'s him ! Anyway back to VANDEN PLAS. According to Pete Pardo this latest recording from this German Prog-Metal band is a concept album based loosely on the story of "The Count Of Monte Cristo". It's interesting to see the high ratings for this album because for me it's my least favourite, and i've heard them all and am a big fan. First of all with the bonus track it's almost 80 minutes long ! Second of all i'm not big on concept albums. It's hard for me to put a finger on it but this seems so uninspired and so avaerage for this band. It doesn't hold a candle to "The God Thing" in my opinion.

"Christ O" opens with some atmosphere and choir before we get blitzed but then it settles quickly with vocals.This is actually an excellent track when it gets fuller. "Postcard To God" is heavy to begin with but settles when the vocals come in, although the heavy drums continue with synths.The heaviness is back after 3 minutes and we get a guitar solo 4 minutes in. "Wish You Where Here" contrasts the heavy and lighter passages well. Not a fan of the mellow sections with piano but the full on assaults work well. I like the dark and sinister sound after 4 1/2 minutes. Some great guitar follows. "Silently" opens with piano followed by the heaviness which comes and goes. Violin and a calm 3 minutes in followed by a good guitar solo.Themes are repeated.

"Shadow I Am" impresses me with the heaviness and drumming,especially on the chorus. A ripping guitar solo after 3 1/2 minutes. "Fireroses Dance" opens with piano as fragile vocals come in. A fuller sound after a minute as the contrast continues. Some welcomed heaviness after 3 minutes as we get an incredible second half. "Somewhere Alone In The Dark" is a heavy beast with some killer guitar. Nice. "January Sun" opens with fragile vocals and piano as violin comes in. Not a fan. We get some samples to do with the concept. A better sound 5 minutes in but it ends as it began. "Lost In Silence" is a laid back tune with vocals.

I think most will look at this as one of the bands best, but some of us are disappointed. It's still a good album of course.

Review by b_olariu
3 stars Fifth studio album of german prog metal band Vanden Plas from 2006 named Christ O. The story behind this album is in Andy Kuntz view an remake about the famous Count of Monte Cristo, written and compose in his manner and re adapted to modern days life. To tell you the truth it get me more than usual to listen to this album then any VP album before, because this version of the novel is kinda hard to get into in fiew listen. So after 10 or more spins since he was released 3 years ago I bigun to understant this modern aproach of mr Kuntz. The music is a little more heavier then previous albums, and a thing that I don't really like, the toying now with more power metal than usual or even in places some hard core chops on guitar, very rough and not really impressive in Vanden Plas sound as a whole. Like Symphony X case when their last was way more heavier and deseppointing many fans included me, in this case is the same. Well the album is not bad, some pieces are really good and have that VP flavour from early years like the opening track Christ 0 (nice chorus here), Postcard To God and Wish You Were Here, these 3 pieces are the best, the rest are only ok, not bad but without any shinig moments as on previous albums. In Vanden Plas career this is their most unpleasent (not bad) album so far and in prog metal scene an usual album with high and lows but very vague in contrast with their Far off grace or The god thing (their best albums for sure) and in contrast with othe rband and albums from that period. I will give 3 star while is not bad for sure is less intristing than any other VP album so far and I think is time for a new one because are allready 3 years from this one.
Review by Andy Webb
5 stars What a spectacle! This magnificent piece of music is an excellent choice for any progressive metal fan. Even on songs such as JANUARY SUN, where a soft piano intro begins the track, a breakdown in the quintessential metal that all fans want emerges from the intro. Not saying soft piano is bad in the least!

The concept album, as the AllMusic review says, has wonderful meaning behind the lyrics. Wonderful instrumental parts colour the album in wonderful ways. Complex parts, beautiful vocal parts and more make this album a must. Thom Jurek of All Music says in his review "Vanden Plas rocks." And so they do.

Latest members reviews

5 stars "Christ 0" is, as with most previous Vanden Plas albums, better than the ones before. Which is saying a lot, since I fell totally in love with their music nearly 10 years and several albums earlier with "The God Thing". The symphonic orchestral opening of the title track may be one of their best ... (read more)

Report this review (#361881) | Posted by sv_godspeed | Thursday, December 23, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Well.This is a conceptual album,a good history as well,this band of Germany show us again that they are very good musicians.and with this ultimate work again create a monumental album.. whit metal songs more that progressive,but allways have a piece of progressive on their music..since the riff ... (read more)

Report this review (#123408) | Posted by JgX 5 | Friday, May 25, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Sometimes I've been listening to this album for all day, for weeks, for months, and even after lots of listenings, it maintains the same musical power of the first spin. Why? I'll explain. This is the story (inspired by Alexandre Dumas' "Le Comte de Montecristo") of a man, imprisoned for some ... (read more)

Report this review (#108232) | Posted by CrazyDiamond | Sunday, January 21, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This was the first vanden Plas album I bought and I was very impressed. I bought this cd never even hearing them, only knowing that they recieved good reviews and that they had a sick guitarist. Stephen Lill (guitars) doesn't dissapoint, neither does the rest of the band, I was blown away by t ... (read more)

Report this review (#108062) | Posted by Highlander | Friday, January 19, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#88133) | Posted by | Thursday, August 24, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars AWESOME! I waited a long time for this record, but let me tell you it was worth the while! In fact, since The God Thing, few albums were able to make me shiver like this one (these few being stuff like Riverside's Second Life Syndrome, Circus Maximus' The First Chapter, Beyond Twilight's FTLO ... (read more)

Report this review (#85320) | Posted by ValhallFR | Tuesday, August 1, 2006 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I have been listening to this album almost daily and sometimes more than once a day. But it just don't catch me. Although I've enjoyed all the previous releases from the band it remains my least favourite disk of theirs. There are some standout tracks such as "Scarlet Flower Fields"; it's most ... (read more)

Report this review (#81125) | Posted by darrend | Tuesday, June 13, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I've discovered Vanden Plas some years ago when they released their album Beyond Daylight. I actually purchased the album knowing only the song Cold Wind (which I think is a wonderful song). While listening to it, I kindda was dissapointed with the rest of the songs. I know this album has been ... (read more)

Report this review (#74863) | Posted by | Thursday, April 13, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#73647) | Posted by Kilroy Murdoch | Friday, March 31, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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