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THE SERAPHIC CLOCKWORK

Vanden Plas

Progressive Metal


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Vanden Plas The Seraphic Clockwork album cover
3.81 | 151 ratings | 12 reviews | 31% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


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Studio Album, released in 2010

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Frequency
2. Holes In The Sky
3. Scar of an Angel
4. Sound of Blood
5. The Final Murder
6. Quicksilver
7. Rush of Silence
8. On My Way to Jerusalem

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Andy Kuntz / vocals
- Stephan Lill / guitars
- Torsten Reichert / bass
- Andreas Lill / drums
- Günter Werno / keyboards

Releases information

"The Seraphic Clockwork" which will be released by Frontiers Records on June 4th (in Europe) and June 22nd (in the USA)

Thanks to peccatum for the addition
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Seraphic ClockworkSeraphic Clockwork
Frontiers 2010
Audio CD$46.54
$22.99 (used)

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VANDEN PLAS The Seraphic Clockwork ratings distribution


3.81
(151 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(31%)
31%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(40%)
40%
Good, but non-essential (19%)
19%
Collectors/fans only (7%)
7%
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)
3%

VANDEN PLAS The Seraphic Clockwork reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Nightfly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars Despite releasing their first album as far back as 1994 The Seraphic Clockwork is the first album I've bought by German prog metallers Vanden Plas. I'm not sure why it's taken me so long to be honest as when I'm in the mood for a bit of prog metal this is the sort of stuff I usually like. I.e. melody taking precedence over unimaginative tuneless riffs and no death metal vocals.

The melodic nature of the material here is to a large part thanks to vocalist Andy Kuntz who's a fine singer in the more traditional metal vein yet doesn't go for unnecessary histrionics. He can't take all the credit however as guitarist Stephan Lill also has an ear for a tuneful riff that doesn't sacrifice power for sugary coated sweetness. Liberal doses of Günter Werno's keyboards also contribute to the overall harmonious feel.

It doesn't get any better than opener Frequency which while offering nothing ground- breaking pleases with an overall impressive performance, a killer riff and a hook that gets right under your skin. It's not downhill from here though as there's other highlights throughout including the dynamic Scar Of An Angel which makes good use of some light and shade elements against the powerhouse riffs. Even better is The Final Murder with a kind of Kashmir feel on the verse but they don't overdo it as it shifts through a number of impressive phases over its ten minutes. Quicksilver is the obligatory ballad and they save the longest until last with On My Way To Jerusalem. It took a few plays for this to sink in as I found it a bit ordinary at first but with a bit of perseverance, which is usually required with more complex pieces, it turned out to be an excellent closer.

The Seraphic Clockwork won't win any awards for originality, you've heard this all before from the typical metal rhythm section with rolling double kick drums liberally used and staccato riffing but I find myself drawn in due to the strong band performance and memorable musical qualities. Fans of the more melodic end of prog metal such as Shadow Gallery will find much to enjoy here.

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Send comments to Nightfly (BETA) | Report this review (#300238) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, September 23, 2010

Review by J-Man
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Quicksilver

Vanden Plas is one of the superior progressive metal groups in Germany - which is certainly saying a lot when considering all of the German prog metal bands out there. Although Vanden Plas has never been recognized as much their American brethren such as Symphony X, Dream Theater, or Fates Warning, The Seraphic Clockwork further confirms that Vanden Plas deserve to be regarded as one of the best groups in the melodic prog metal genre. This isn't an album that's going to blow you away with a highly original approac, but it succeeds tremendously with its intention - and that's creating excellent prog metal that proves the genre is far from dead. If you're someone who's tired of the style of music that Vanden Plas plays, I'd still recommend giving it a shot - it's that good. Every song is spectacular in its own way, and when you put it all together you have a brilliant gem of an album. Fans of Vanden Plas and progressive metal in general should definitely check out The Seraphic Clockwork!

The music here is unquestionably Vanden Plas. They play progressive metal in the style of Dream Theater, but with less of an emphasis on soloing and more of a focus on melody. There's still some terrific guitar and keyboard duals, but don't expect a whole lot of noodling on The Seraphic Clockwork. A lot of the music is focused around the terrific vocals from Andy Kuntz and melodic instrumentation. Just listen to a tune like the ballad-ish "Quicksilver" or the epic "On My Way to Jerusalem", and it's obvious that Vanden Plas isn't entirely engulfed in attempts to play at the speed of light. All 9 songs here are absolutely wonderful progressive metal tracks, so it's difficult to pick a favorite. However, it'd be criminal to not mention "On My Way to Jerusalem" as a standout track, considering that is one of the best progressive metal songs in all of 2010. The instrumental section towards the end of "Rush of Silence" is also noteworthy. Even though much of this album is focused on melody, this complex instrumental section proves how excellent these guys can also be from a technical standpoint. Of course, another great thing about Vanden Plas is the group of musicians that make up the band. They're a tight playing unit that still puts feeling and emotion into their playing. There's not much more you could ask from a progressive metal band!

The production is great. It's nothing too special in the modern prog metal scene (a lot of albums have a similar production), but that's not necessarily a bad thing, is it? The transitions between heavy and atmospheric sections sound great and certainly get the job done.

Conclusion:

Vanden Plas is one of the best bands in prog metal, and they've once again proved that with The Seraphic Clockwork. Although this isn't going to satisfy somebody who's craving a revolutionary album, it's an essential purchase for any fan of melodic progressive metal. There isn't a single weak track on the entire album, which is saying something when we're talking about a 72 minute album. This is 4.5 stars well-earned - one of the best albums in its genre from 2010. After giving the album many spins, it's clear that every second of the four-year wait for The Seraphic Clockwork was worth it. Let's just hope it's not nearly that long until we hear another great album from Vanden Plas! Strongly Recommended!

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Send comments to J-Man (BETA) | Report this review (#365744) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, December 27, 2010

Review by b_olariu
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Vanden Plas newest album to date named The seraphic clockwork, released in 2010 and issued by already famous Frontiers records for sure doesn't desepoint at all, prog metal listners will find here plenty of good moments and enjoyble arrangements. I'm a fan of this band since 1997 when they released the excellent The god thing, since then I was with my eyes on this band and get all their releases. What I like to this band in comparation with other ptog metal bands in last 20 years is that they always have a constant quality in their music, they don't have a single album bad, they concentrate more on quality then on quantity, that's why they rleases only 6 studio albums in 20 years, and the line up is same since 1995, that is something. This latest album has that specific Vanden Plas sound, easely each piece can enter on any other previous album, not much diffrence in sound and manner of composing, that doesn't mean is bad, not at all. Solid album, catchy arrangements, good voice from Mr. Kuntz, one of the big voices of prog metal in last 15 years. Enjoyble release, if not fantastic, they repete the old formula on the previous albums and re create the atmosphere, but not bad at all, realy. The album stars very well with Frequency, cruchy guitars, great bass line and good vocal parts, Vanden Plas at best, the album continue in same manner with Sound of Blood and the last tune On My Way to Jerusalem is a real killer, lenghy complex, where mellow parts interluded perfectly with the rest. I like the album, is in the same vein with Christ O, litle less intristing then their best The god thing and Far off grace but not bad at all. I can't give more then 3 stars, for sure good but nothing realy masterful. Anyway Vanden Plas remains one of the best and respected progressive metal bands in last 15 years.

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Send comments to b_olariu (BETA) | Report this review (#490674) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Review by Starhammer
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars "Just a kiss... a Judas kiss"

Vanden Plas return to the studio, four years after the release of their critically acclaimed concept album, Christ 0.

The Good: The Seraphic Clockwork is another solid release from the German band with consistently strong compositions and musicianship throughout. Most of the tracks are excellent and even the few weaker ones are at the very least engaging. The lengthy finale does take a while to get going but it's worth the wait as the midsection is truly angelic.

The Bad: Whilst I really like this album and would recommend it to all fans of the genre, it does also feel a bit too 'safe' and lacking in adventure.

The Verdict: Prog metal by numbers.

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Send comments to Starhammer (BETA) | Report this review (#499124) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, August 07, 2011

Latest members reviews

4 stars The more conceptual Vanden Plas become, the harder they are to penetrate. More often than not story-driven concept albums tend to consist of shorter songs-chapters. Here, after two deceptively catchy rockers (check out the 3 back-to-back widely different bridges of Frequency) songs average 9 min ... (read more)

Report this review (#1252215) | Posted by Progrussia | Saturday, August 16, 2014 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Like telling one Olsen sister from another Come to think of it, I probably would have felt pretty fine about this release, if I had stopped listening to it after just one song. These men are no rookies - years full of touring, exhausting studio hours and heaps of albums is what I imagine while ab ... (read more)

Report this review (#423191) | Posted by Oliverum | Saturday, March 26, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Rush of Silence Vanden Plas had never caught my attention enough to get any of their albums. But, once "The Seraphic Clockwork" came out, I was instantly enthralled in their great sound and talent. "The Seraphic Clockwork" is a little over an hour long and it never once gets boring, sporting g ... (read more)

Report this review (#403457) | Posted by The Block | Saturday, February 19, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars waiting for this album Like 4 years.., 4 years have gone from this great album of 2006. Christ 0 And What I can say about this great German band that has matured with the passing of the years? .. Honestly in all the great career of this band i have not found bad albums .. and if you could name .. ... (read more)

Report this review (#396963) | Posted by JgX 5 | Wednesday, February 09, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The Seraphic Clockwork is an excellent follow-up to the exceptional Christ 0. Considering that it has been 4 years in the making (longer than any of the previous albums), I had very high expectations and I'm happy to say TSC lives up to them admirably. Starting off with the powerful riffs "Freque ... (read more)

Report this review (#361867) | Posted by sv_godspeed | Thursday, December 23, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars From the beginning I want to say that I had great expectations about this new VANDEN PLAS album!After the sensational previous one,this SERAPHIC CLOCKWORK must have been something like a new beginning for the Germans with a new record label behind,this time the Italian melodic label FRONTIER ... (read more)

Report this review (#356042) | Posted by Ovidiu | Friday, December 17, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Solid sixth effort from Vanden Plas, gifted progressive metal band from Germany. The Seraphic Clockwork is a concept album based on a science fiction story written by singer Andy Kuntz about a man travelling back in time from 16th century Rome to 33AD Jerusalem to face his ineluctable fate. Al ... (read more)

Report this review (#328060) | Posted by lukretio | Sunday, November 21, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Vanden Plas' best album, if you ask me. This band is sometimes called Germany's Dream Theater. Of course there is a certain similarity with the American band, but while DT'S star is sinking, Vanden Plas get better and better with every album. A special feature about Vanden Plas' music I alway ... (read more)

Report this review (#295887) | Posted by strayfromatlantis | Monday, August 23, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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