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VANDEN PLAS

Progressive Metal • Germany


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Vanden Plas picture
Vanden Plas biography
Formed in Kaiserslautern, 1986 -

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

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VANDEN PLAS discography


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

3.44 | 90 ratings
Colour Temple
1994
3.88 | 130 ratings
The God Thing
1997
3.84 | 113 ratings
Far Off Grace
1999
4.01 | 180 ratings
Beyond Daylight
2002
3.93 | 241 ratings
Christ 0
2006
3.81 | 198 ratings
The Seraphic Clockwork
2010
3.74 | 129 ratings
Chronicles Of The Immortals - Netherworld (Path One)
2014
3.75 | 112 ratings
Chronicles Of The Immortals - Netherworld II
2015
3.51 | 44 ratings
The Ghost Xperiment - Awakening
2019
4.06 | 51 ratings
The Ghost Xperiment - Illumination
2020

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

3.97 | 38 ratings
Spirit of Live
2000
4.13 | 8 ratings
The Seraphic Live Works
2017

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

0.00 | 0 ratings
The Seraphic Live Works
2017

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

4.10 | 20 ratings
Colour Temple / AcCult
2002
5.00 | 4 ratings
The Epic Works 1991-2015
2019

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

2.84 | 39 ratings
AcCult
1996
3.45 | 11 ratings
Inside Your Head
1999
3.93 | 11 ratings
I Don't Miss You
2000

VANDEN PLAS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Ghost Xperiment - Illumination by VANDEN PLAS album cover Studio Album, 2020
4.06 | 51 ratings

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The Ghost Xperiment - Illumination
Vanden Plas Progressive Metal

Review by alainPP

5 stars The musical slap! Following the VANDEN PLAS since their debut in 1995 with "color temple", I have never stopped seeing them in concert. In the meantime, I have stored their albums like treasures; the beginning of 2000 hurt me when I saw them gradually disappear from the music scene, until a revival with "christ O" and albums with the original peach. A concert by them to verify that they are Dantesque on stage and here we are with this last opus; so why this preamble? "THE GHOST XPERIMENT - ILLUMINATION" is quite simply the illumination of your end of the year 2020 that you risk listening to in 2021 as everything is so magnificent about it; rhythmic parts, catchy riffs, Andy's always clear voice, divine piano parts reconciling metal and progression, long compositions that send heavy, everything is perfect and all the more surprising as I expected to an ersatz of their previous album. The little extra is always to associate their invasive synths with sound riffs and to link everything with Andy's voice to arrive at crescendo titles of any beauty. One thing is certain, getting old can lead to producing very beautiful things, run, run, poor fools and go get it if it is not yet done.
 The Ghost Xperiment - Illumination by VANDEN PLAS album cover Studio Album, 2020
4.06 | 51 ratings

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The Ghost Xperiment - Illumination
Vanden Plas Progressive Metal

Review by jonybord

5 stars Tenth studio album for these German veterans after more than 3 decades of existence. And all original members remain. How incredible is that! Part one of The Ghost Xperiment was an ok album. But the Ghost Xperiment - Illumination is an absolute cracker. If both albums are listened together, may be the first part (Awakening) will sound better. I have spun this album 6-7 times till now and I can safely say that this is their best album till date with not a single below par song. Even the bonus track is amazing! Vocalist Andy Kuntz shines as usual with his trademark emotional, soaring and sweeping vocals. Fantastic playing by all the members. I particularly like the keyboard parts combined with infectious rhythm section.
 The Ghost Xperiment - Illumination by VANDEN PLAS album cover Studio Album, 2020
4.06 | 51 ratings

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The Ghost Xperiment - Illumination
Vanden Plas Progressive Metal

Review by Mellotron lover

5 stars This will give you an idea of what to expect in the following. First of all, I usually listen to the album when reviewing it. While writing about The Ghost Xperiment : Illumination, I surprised myself saying out loud several times : "OMG, OMG, is this good or what ?" Yes friends, this is a freaking good album. Expectations were high after the stellar Chronicles of the Immortals duo in 2014 and 2015. Unfortunately, these expectations were not quite met with Ghost Xperiment : Awakening last year. A disappointment for me to say the least even if the album was quite good actually. But what is good for a band may be fantastic for another. And for Vanden Plas, good is not enough. That brings us to part 2 of this again ambitious concept of two separate albums. Appropriately named, Illumination is the perfect title for this masterpiece because I think that's exactly what happened to Andy Kuntz and his lads : illumination ! Unlike Awakening, which offers a series of good Vanden Plas songs that could have been taken from any VP albums, with Illumination, we are blessed with 8 luminous tracks strongly linked to one an other in a crescendo of pure musical pleasure. With Illumination, we fully feel the evolution and the emotion of the concept. Throughout the album, guitarist Stephan Lill and bassist Torsten Reichert amaze us with extraordinary musicianship. Drummer Andreas Lill proves again that he is more than a skin banger. In the coda of The Lonely Psychogon, keyboardist GŁnter Werno demonstrates the scope of his talent on piano. And what to say about Andy Kuntz who sings as always like a prog metal angel. With this album, Vanden Plas stands, unrivaled, at the pinnacle of its craft. Have I said enough ? You've got to give The Ghost Xperiment : Illumination a try. You will thank me for that.
 The Ghost Xperiment - Illumination by VANDEN PLAS album cover Studio Album, 2020
4.06 | 51 ratings

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The Ghost Xperiment - Illumination
Vanden Plas Progressive Metal

Review by javajeff

5 stars The Ghost Xperiment - Illumination is another amazing release. I think it is better than The Ghost Xperiment - Awakening, and it could be their best album to date as it is that good. I am not sure if these are supposed to be played as one long album, but Illumination is 61 minutes and Awakening is 46 minutes. I will likely play them together down the road after I have taken in Illumination for several listens. So far, it seems to have some seriously powerful songs like the magical Black Waltz Death. It is one of many standout tracks with no fillers. Their sound remains unchanged through the years, and more of a good thing is fine with me. Vanden Plas offers a special type of progressive metal with climax building songs, and Andy Kuntz has never sounded better belting some melodies. The band sounds perfect with phenomenal musicianship. Some of the best playing, riffs, compositions, and everything in between are present on Illumination. The production is just fantastic and this album is just straight raw power. Anyone that loves progressive metal, should absolutely dive into their highly consistent catalog of music. This latest album, The Ghost Xperiment - Illumination, is an excellent place to start as it carries the signature sound in spades. It is loaded with so many good tracks that it sometimes feels like a greatest hits. Fatal Arcadia is just formula Vanden Plas, and The Ouroboros could be their best song ever. Illumination is just close to flawless, and the 61 minutes just fly by. I am blown away by this release.
 The Ghost Xperiment - Awakening by VANDEN PLAS album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.51 | 44 ratings

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The Ghost Xperiment - Awakening
Vanden Plas Progressive Metal

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

3 stars 25 years from the 1994 debut 'Colour Temple' and the same five guys are back with their ninth studio album, which is the first of a two-part concept project, with the second album to be released later in 2020. Apparently, it is based on a documented paranormal experiment, with the main character in the story, Gideon Grace, having to fight constantly for his life against the relentless shadows of the 'House of Rain' as he wanders through France. He expands his knowledge and discovers there are ways he can fight against the creatures of darkness. However, when it comes to the first showdown, rather than finding peace, it does not go well.

I first came across Vanden Plas back in the Nineties, and have heard a few albums since then, and this follows the same melodic rock stylings. They are very similar in many ways to Savatage and Angra, yet without the cut through which has made those bands so important within the genre. They rarely hit all the peaks and height, and for me it always seems as if something is missing although I many not always be able to put it into words (which is poor for a reviewer, I know). They first formed the band when they were working in music in theatre productions, and they are all solid musicians with a great singer in Andy Kuntz. But I find my attention wandering while I am playing this and as soon as it is over, I have totally forgotten what it was like. The guitars are tight on each other, but instead of being a benefit it is a constraint. There are certain passages, such as during "Fall From The Skies", where everything works and is incredibly impressive, but this few and far between. Over the years they have built a large number of fans, but this is another solid middle of the road album from Vanden Plas without ever having the sparks to make it truly inspirational and essential.

 The Ghost Xperiment - Awakening by VANDEN PLAS album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.51 | 44 ratings

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The Ghost Xperiment - Awakening
Vanden Plas Progressive Metal

Review by javajeff

5 stars This is a fantastic release from Vanden Plas. Fall from the Skies is another explosive track, much like January Sun, that anchors another stellar release. The Ghost Xperiment - Awakening is more of what makes Vanden Plas great. If you already love their sound, then you will get more of it with this release. The Ghost Xperiment - Awakening may be underrated, quietly came out of nowhere, and could be in discussions as one of their top albums. It is that good. Anyone that loves progressive metal, should definitely give this album a try. It is a great place to start for newcomers to Vanden Plas, but it is still important to dive into their best albums Christ 0, The God Thing, and Beyond Daylight. The Ghost Xperiment - Awakening is a hard hitting album with few soft moments like what was presented in the Chronicles Of The Immortals - Netherworld. I keep returning to this album, and keep finding new things to love about it. It is bombastic, heavy, and loaded with many Vanden Plas types of moments. The guitar riffs alone make it a must hear album.
 Chronicles Of The Immortals - Netherworld II by VANDEN PLAS album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.75 | 112 ratings

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Chronicles Of The Immortals - Netherworld II
Vanden Plas Progressive Metal

Review by Progrussia

3 stars I wasn't over my head with the first installment of the Immortals saga. It was more than solid for a symphonic gothic power-slightly proggy album, both hard-hitting (Vanden Plas have one of the densest guitar crunch in prog) and melodic as hell, but lacked the cleverness of songwriting and emotional subtlety of earlier Vanden Plas releases (and the entire vampires-and-werewolves/tragic love theme...). The second installment is stylistically much in the same vein. It may be darker, more bombastic and have more twists and turns, but honestly, only a seasoned fanatic would tell the difference. I've long defended prog metal from critical snobs, but on this one I am inclined to agree, a lot of prog metal these days tends to sound the same.
 Chronicles Of The Immortals - Netherworld II by VANDEN PLAS album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.75 | 112 ratings

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Chronicles Of The Immortals - Netherworld II
Vanden Plas Progressive Metal

Review by toilet_doctor

5 stars Step aside, Kamelot! - Vanden Plas is coming.

I like Part 1 a lot - I gave it 5 stars in my review. When I tried to Part 2, the first impression was that part 2 is even better. To understand exactly what was better, I went back to part 1, which I have not listened to for a while. And I can tell: Part 2 is "progier" part of the album. The same winning formula: Epic Melodic Symphonic with very good taste (everything is in place and in the right measure - nothing overdone), but it has a lot more twists and turns, ups and downs, changes in tempo and melody, which is so valuable for fans of prog . Especially in the centerpiece over 13 minutes epic 'Blood of Eden' where they are dropping you from the cold water to the flame back and forth within a few minutes. I just put it on - so damn good!

Second large and positive difference is that Part 2 has better sound quality, giving Andy Kuntz vocal shine all along with new force. Additional vocal by Julia Steingass, blending in as duet, was a nice touch in Part 1. Here it has more supportive role. I like both ways equally, I just don't know whether it was recorded like this, or it's a trick of recording and mastering engineer Marcus Teske. He finally nailed sound in his Bazement right - clear and crank-able with good dynamics. It's a pleasure to listen to this type of music through the massive speakers with powerful 1000W monoblocks as I do. I dare to ask Marcus to improve sound of Part 1 for a new Deluxe (2CD+Blu-ray Audio) Edition. I will be first to buy it despite that I already have two digipaks of Part 1 and 2.

I also cannot wait for Blu-ray Live with Symphonic Orchestra. I just turned on a closer 'Circle of the Devil', another 8 min. Masterpiece of Prog, and, I don't know why, but I can see everything on stage: orchestra, band, Andy and Julia, backing vocal group... some kind of apotheosis. My guess is that entire double album was created with live performance in mind.

Overall, it's exemplary of Melodic Symphonic Prog Metal album full of details, you will discover more and more with each listening.

Thank you very much, guys. Please carry on. 5 solid and joyful stars.

 Chronicles Of The Immortals - Netherworld II by VANDEN PLAS album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.75 | 112 ratings

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Chronicles Of The Immortals - Netherworld II
Vanden Plas Progressive Metal

Review by javajeff

4 stars I really loved the first one, so I expected more of the same and a complete continuation from the first. There will likely be a 2 CD set at some point with both of them together as one album, but I bought them separately. Let me start by saying that anyone that enjoys Progressive Metal should get the entire Vanden Plas catalog. So now that I established that I am a fan of this group and genre, you can expect this review to be very positive. Netherworld II has everything that you want in a Progressive Metal release. Lots of powerful moments, mixed with soft lush moments, and mixed in with stellar musicianship and excellent vocals. Andy Kuntz delivers another strong vocal performance, and I love the way they are mixing in female vocals to add contrast to some of the songs. The band has really hit it's stride outputting a signature sound, and I love what I hear from them. Anyone that enjoys concept albums are in for a treat, and should pick up this gem right away.
 Chronicles Of The Immortals - Netherworld (Path One) by VANDEN PLAS album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.74 | 129 ratings

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Chronicles Of The Immortals - Netherworld (Path One)
Vanden Plas Progressive Metal

Review by javajeff

4 stars This is a must buy for any fan of Vanden Plas, Progressive Metal, or Progressive Rock. While this release has less metal, it does have so much more in the form of variety. Yes it has the heavy metal, but you get a theme oriented album with slow moving passages, stellar vocals, and amazing musicianship. Both Misery Affection tracks mix in female vocals as a duet, and they really break up the hard hitting parts of the album. Like the previous release Seraphic Clockwork, this is another must get album. I am new to Vanden Plas, and everything I have heard feels like they can do no wrong.
Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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