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VANDEN PLAS

Progressive Metal • Germany


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Vanden Plas biography
VANDEN PLAS is a band which incorporates elements of progressive and pop rock, keyboards, layers and specialize in longer songs. This is an interesting band which started out life as a modern hair metal band. However, the band really cleaned up their act for their most recent albums which take their cue more from DREAM THEATER. Fans in France and Japan have already pushed the band to much success and after half a dozen albums it is time for the band to resign itself to those countries or make a push for itself elsewhere as well.

See also:

- Abydos

Vanden Plas official website

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Chronicles Of The Immortals - NetherworldChronicles Of The Immortals - Netherworld
Frontiers Records (Universal) 2014
Audio CD$10.03
$9.28 (used)
Christ OChrist O
Inside Out U.S. 2006
Audio CD$18.00
$4.07 (used)
Seraphic ClockworkSeraphic Clockwork
Frontiers 2010
Audio CD$28.89
$19.95 (used)
Beyond DaylightBeyond Daylight
Inside Out U.S. 2002
Audio CD$12.95
$5.48 (used)
God ThingGod Thing
Extra tracks · Remastered · Special Edition
Inside Out U.S. 2004
Audio CD$21.69
$12.89 (used)
Spirit of LiveSpirit of Live
Inside Out U.S. 2000
Audio CD$6.99
$5.66 (used)
Far Off GraceFar Off Grace
Extra tracks
InsideOut Music 1999
Audio CD$13.94
$8.98 (used)
Christ 0Christ 0
Import
Imports 2010
Audio CD$17.01
$18.25 (used)
Colour TempleColour Temple
Limited Edition · Special Edition · Import
Inside Out Germany 2004
Audio CD$28.37
AccultAccult
Import
Insid 1998
Audio CD$57.86
$11.77 (used)
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VANDEN PLAS shows & tickets


  • Vanden Plas + Amon Sethis at Le Grillen, Colmar on 29 Oct 2014
  • Vanden Plas + Amon Sethis + Greenwich Cavern at Glazart, Paris on 30 Oct 2014
  • Halloween Metal Fest III on 31 Oct 2014
  • 24ème Festival de Vouziers on 1 Nov 2014
  • Vanden Plas at Spirit of 66, Verviers on 27 Nov 2014
  • Vanden Plas on 19 Dec 2014
  • Vanden Plas at Das Wormser Kulturzentrum, Worms on 27 Dec 2014

VANDEN PLAS discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

VANDEN PLAS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.45 | 58 ratings
Colour Temple
1994
3.92 | 89 ratings
The God Thing
1997
3.82 | 81 ratings
Far Off Grace
1999
3.98 | 138 ratings
Beyond Daylight
2002
3.98 | 190 ratings
Christ 0
2006
3.81 | 147 ratings
The Seraphic Clockwork
2010
3.68 | 65 ratings
Chronicles Of The Immortals, Pt. I: Netherworld
2014

VANDEN PLAS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.02 | 27 ratings
Spirit of Live
2000

VANDEN PLAS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

VANDEN PLAS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.76 | 22 ratings
Colour Temple / AcCult (1994)
2002

VANDEN PLAS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.78 | 26 ratings
AcCult
1996
3.33 | 9 ratings
Inside Your Head
1999
3.93 | 9 ratings
I Don't Miss You
2000

VANDEN PLAS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Seraphic Clockwork by VANDEN PLAS album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.81 | 147 ratings

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The Seraphic Clockwork
Vanden Plas Progressive Metal

Review by Progrussia

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 minutes in length and include long instrumental parts. But I think that they managed to stop right at the point beyond which more would have been tough to digest.

Stylistically, this is their most eclectic album. Their brand of Dreamtheatre-esque esoteric but catchy prog metal enriched with more symphonic and classic rock (by way of rumbling organ and some folkish inserts) influences. Andy Kuntz has finally shed his early- days hair metal histrionics and developed into a more serious type of a theatrical singer. Give this a couple of spins at least.

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 Beyond Daylight  by VANDEN PLAS album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.98 | 138 ratings

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Beyond Daylight
Vanden Plas Progressive Metal

Review by Progrussia

4 stars Vanden Plas is one of the more established bands of the European power symphonic prog school, that pays a premium on melody and atmosphere rather than just technicality. Their feature is that combine heavy, loud guitars with softer vocal. I know that doesn't paint a very flattering picture - like a less adventurous Dream Theater - but Vanden Plas know their riffs, intriguing synth lines and melodies. Beyond Daylight is a step up for them in this respect, all while avoiding excessive musical cheese found in their later works. Aside a couple of weaker tracks, this album is loaded with "hits" (well, in a prog sense of the word). They sure know how to set up a song. Check out the playful classical intro to Nigthwalker, mysterious keys at the beginning of Cold Wind an Phoenix, or the dreamy start to End of All Days. Cheerful and fast this music isn't. But what follows is a solid 60 minutes of headbanging, sing-alongs and lighter-lighting moments.

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 Chronicles Of The Immortals, Pt. I: Netherworld by VANDEN PLAS album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.68 | 65 ratings

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Chronicles Of The Immortals, Pt. I: Netherworld
Vanden Plas Progressive Metal

Review by Progrussia

3 stars On their latest offering, Vanden Plas continue with their European prog power style with symphonic and gothic touches, with maybe an added layer of gothic cheese in form of some female vocals, choirs and wimpy tragic ballads. This moves them closer to Kamelot territory, which comes, I think, at the expense of certain intelligence present in their music. Prog-wise, even though this is a two-part concept album, it's a step down from their previous effort, Seraphic Clockwork.

The second, and first proper track, The Dark Knight, showcases the best that the band has to offer - great, driving opening riff, nice contrast between heavier and softer passages, anthemic choruses. It goes on basically in the same vein, interspersed with filler ballads. And even though Vanden Plas' riffs and melodies would put 99 percent of power bands to shame, towards the end you get a feeling of sameness. Let's hope the second part has more interesting stuff to offer besides some head banging and air guitar.

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 Chronicles Of The Immortals, Pt. I: Netherworld by VANDEN PLAS album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.68 | 65 ratings

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Chronicles Of The Immortals, Pt. I: Netherworld
Vanden Plas Progressive Metal

Review by toilet_doctor

5 stars Non-existed dream came true...

I am a fan of Vanden Plas from day one. They stand out from the crowd of prog-metal bands by exceptional vocal and tasteful approach to their genre of music, which excluded brainless speed-drumming. However, for their 7th album band changed direction quiet a lot to... Epic Melodic Symphonic. As a lover of this genre, I was very pleased to learn that. To say that I was wishing on a star and it happened, would not be true. Like it was, when Tarja left Nightwish, I was dreaming: It would be nice, if disbanded After Forever Dutch soprano lead vocalist Floor Jansen will take her place. And it did happen. But in case with Vanden Plas, I, to be honest, even didn't dare to dream about it.

Guys entered in new genre with weighty luggage of prog and fit in so perfectly, as they are doing it for last 20 years. Everything is on the right place: brilliant compositions, crunchy riffs, prominent guitar solo, huge choruses, heart-wrenched ballads, even female vocal blends in for duets to elevate sound to the next level. And everything with good taste and right measure. And Andy, Andy's vocal on a top of all of that shines through, makes sound unique Vanden Plas trademark.

Is it Prog? Sure, it is. It's definitely Rock - nobody will argue with that. Is it progressive music? No doubts, as song's structure of concept album is pushing boundaries of the songs. And that what matters. It's no accident that guys named their songs - visions: Vision1, Vision2 and on... That is how they see their new direction in music. And they are on a right track. The band is unstoppable now. Someday I will buy Live performance Blu-ray with full range orchestra and Tarja Turunen as a guest. But now, I cannot wait for Part 2. In two words: Good Job. 5 epic symphonic stars.

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 Chronicles Of The Immortals, Pt. I: Netherworld by VANDEN PLAS album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.68 | 65 ratings

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Chronicles Of The Immortals, Pt. I: Netherworld
Vanden Plas Progressive Metal

Review by opethfantim

5 stars "Immortals"

A fantastic release from one of the best prog-metal bands on the planet! Frankly, I didn't think it would be possible for Vanden Plas to transcend their previous effort, The Seraphic Clockwork, but they have certainly done so with Chronicles of the Immortals: Netherworld (Path One). With exceptionally beautiful vocals from Andy, brilliant instrumentation by Torsten, Andreas, and Gunter, and powerfully heavy guitar work from Stephan... this is nothing short of an epic masterpiece.

Another spectacular concept album, this time penned by Andy and Germany's biggest-selling author, Wolfgang Hohlbein. The story evolves around an immortal being who desires only to be human, but is incapable of sharing his life with mortals. While wandering through the centuries searching for answers, he is confronted by a dark shape-shifter with the temptation of giving up his humanity forever to become a god.

With hauntingly gorgeous melodies, lush orchestration, angelic vocal harmonies (featuring a special guest), a full choir, and plenty of progressive inspiration, Netherworld is bound to win over thousands of new fans, while deeply satisfying long-time followers. I have lovingly enjoyed every release from Vanden Plas and remain astonished that each output somehow surpasses their last, while always remaining true to their unique sound.

Very nicely done guys!

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 Chronicles Of The Immortals, Pt. I: Netherworld by VANDEN PLAS album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.68 | 65 ratings

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Chronicles Of The Immortals, Pt. I: Netherworld
Vanden Plas Progressive Metal

Review by Second Life Syndrome
Collaborator Post/Math Rock and Crossover Teams

4 stars This isn't a progressive metal album. You can argue with me about that, but I will never admit it to you. Vanden Plas, a progressive metal band, has crafted the first chapter of a two-part concept (based on a story by author Wolfgang Hohlbein) that utilizes progressive metal, classical music, dark ballads, and truly sophisticated structures to tell the theatrical story of the battle between heaven and hell through eyes of the immortals. Honestly, I don't quite understand the story completely, though I'm sure I will after I hear the second part (due out in 2015). I simply understand that it follows a young man that every one knows is different, and he seems to have bottomless understanding.

So, then, "Chronicles of the Immortals, Part 1: Netherworld" (takes breath) is no progressive metal album. This is because the metal portion of this album is rather subdued. Again and again, I kept telling myself that this might be the progressive metal album for the entirety of the prog world. While it certainly contains its fair share of dark, gigantic riffing, Vanden Plas has crafted what may be the most balanced metal album I've heard in some time. Nowadays, I expect an album of this genre to be technical throughout, focused on showboating and the number of notes per second that can be jammed into a verse. Vanden Plas, though, has changed the game.

Starting off with a narrated track (voiced impeccably by vocalist Andy Kuntz), "Chronicles of the Immortals" seems to have two things as its focus: melody and anticipation. The latter is the first impression I got of the album. Again and again, the band would play a track that never quite climaxed, but you could feel something was coming soon. The first couple tracks are especially this way: They instill an excitement in the listener. This anticipatory songwriting also helps this album swerve away from the standardized sound of many modern progressive metal releases.

The music is constructed using hefty riffs, piercing synth lines, delicate piano passages, and a deep, throbbing heart of mystery. Andy is incredible on vocals, as his unmistakable voice is always there, emoting furiously. However, he is joined by female vocals and a haunting children's choir to tell the story. Indeed, the vocal performances on this album are some of the best I've heard this year so far; memorable and spine-tingling.

However, the musical structures are pure gold. The album seems to use metallic riffing only as a framework for melody and emotion. Again and again, the band utilizes metal to accent the portions of a song that contains none at all. Therefore, much of this album is made up of smooth vocals, piano, and atmosphere. That's it, but somehow it's elating and completely realized. On top of this, the album also features a large amount of ballads. I'm not sure "ballad" is the correct word, as it feels more like a theatrical interlude featuring the interplay of the different vocalists; a setting for dialogue and beauty and further anticipation.

By far, my favorite tracks are "The Black Knight" with its synth lines, the "Misery Affection" couplet with their delicacy, and "The King and the Children of the Lost World" with its catchy chorus. All of the tracks, though, are necessary and truly great.

Vanden Plas, then, has crafted an album that defies the norm in progressive metal. They have surely composed masterful riffs and heavy portions, but they have also shown their expertise in creating atmosphere, gorgeous melodies, and odd structures that belay themselves against criticism. From the anticipation of "Vision 1ne" to the melody of "Misery Affection" to the metal of "Soul Alliance", part one of "Chronicles of the Immortals" is an album that should be heard by all in the progressive world this year, a progressive metal album for the entirety of the prog world. Its fathoms of mystery, firm grasp on the story, and perfect execution all combine to form a truly special production.

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 Beyond Daylight  by VANDEN PLAS album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.98 | 138 ratings

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Beyond Daylight
Vanden Plas Progressive Metal

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars This is prog metal at its very best, nothing more, nothing less. From beginning to end this is the album that Vanden Plas have been threatening since their debut in 1995. Just playing the first song, "Nightwalker", was enough to convince me that I was listening to a winner - everything about it is top quality, from the melodies to the harmony vocals, from the keyboard runs to the riffs to the drumming powering the song from the production to the sheer quality that shines throughout. They have toured with bands like Dokken and Dream Theater in the past and those bands need to keep an eye on what this band is doing.

This is the sort of album that Alan Batkin will rush out and buy with confidence, as it the sort of prog techno rock that the Germans can be very good at and this is certainly better than most. They aren't all about brashness of course, there is piano and sometimes acoustic guitar, but it is when they are combining all of the elements such as during the introduction of "Cold Wind" that sets the scene. There is a power ballad in the beautiful "Healing Tree", and the gentle acoustic guitar at the beginning of "End Of All Days" is literally blistered off the CD by some stunning electric guitar runs.

The band show that they are brimming with confidence as they are not afraid to approach an anthemic rocker like "Free The Fire" or even the bonus song "Point Of Know Return". This is a great album that will be getting some serious airtime in my house.

Originally appeared in Feedback #67, Apr 02

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 Spirit of Live by VANDEN PLAS album cover Live, 2000
4.02 | 27 ratings

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Spirit of Live
Vanden Plas Progressive Metal

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars To get an accurate picture of what Vanden Plas sound like, then it is only necessary to put on track ten, a cover of the Dokken classic "Kiss Of Death" where they are joined onstage by the main man himself, Don Dokken. This is a recording of their sold out show at the Elysee Montmartre in Paris on 13/02/00.

The audience were going crazy before the band even got onstage, and by the time Stephan Lill started cranking out the riffs to "I Can See" they were most definitely up for it. It is the mix of hard rock guitars with sweeping keyboards and great harmony vocals that make this band a force to be reckoned with. They have been together for ten years now, and will soon be releasing their fourth studio album. This band may not be getting the acclaim in the UK that they deserve but touring Europe with bands such as Savatage, they have gained many friends.

Originally appeared in Feedback #61, Feb 01

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 Far Off Grace by VANDEN PLAS album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.82 | 81 ratings

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Far Off Grace
Vanden Plas Progressive Metal

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

3 stars Although released on Inside Out and being described as being progressive metal this album has little to do with the world of prog. This is a melodic hard rock band who have far more in common with Stratovarius than they do with IQ. In fact, the band they sound quite similar to is Savatage, who they have toured with in the past.

Although they are clever, and I know that I really ought to like this, I couldn't get a handle on it somehow. There is a spark missing somewhere. That is not to say that this is a bad album, far from it, but even though the guitars and keyboards sometimes rattle along at breathtaking speed and intensity I found myself easily distracted. Perhaps it needs to be played a great many times to be fully admired, but as I probably won't be returning to it again I don't think that I will ever find out.

Originally appeared in Feedback #57

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 Christ 0 by VANDEN PLAS album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.98 | 190 ratings

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Christ 0
Vanden Plas Progressive Metal

Review by Starhammer
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Four years in the making...

The fifth, full-length studio release from German band, Vanden Plas.

The Good: These guys have been around for quite some time now but with this release I think they have finally hit the jackpot. It's a masterful concept album which puts a modern twist on Alexandre Dumas' famous novel, The Count of Monte Cristo. The members of the band have all been involved in stage productions of musicals at some point in their career (some still are!) and this definitely shines through in their compositions. The addition of a forty-piece choir makes Christ 0 feel very grandiose and almost like a 'metal opera' at times.

The Bad: Musically it doesn't really bring anything new to the table, but what it does do, it does very well. Excellent vocals mixed with talented muscianship is always a winning formula, but to really stand-out at this 'late stage' in the prog metal game you also need consistently interesting songs and in this respect Christ 0 doesn't quite make the grade.

The Verdict: It might not have the technicality of 'Scenes From a Memory' or the character of 'Operation Mindcrime', but the strength of the overall package is enough to make sure Christ 0 still gets noticed.

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