Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography

VANDEN PLAS

Progressive Metal • Germany


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

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

VANDEN PLAS forum topics / tours, shows & news


VANDEN PLAS forum topics Create a topic now
VANDEN PLAS tours, shows & news Post an entries now

VANDEN PLAS Videos (YouTube and more)


Showing only random 3 | Show all VANDEN PLAS videos (2) | Search and add more videos to VANDEN PLAS

Buy VANDEN PLAS Music



More places to buy VANDEN PLAS music online

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)

3.43 | 92 ratings
Colour Temple
1994
3.88 | 132 ratings
The God Thing
1997
3.85 | 114 ratings
Far Off Grace
1999
3.99 | 181 ratings
Beyond Daylight
2002
3.99 | 245 ratings
Christ 0
2006
3.80 | 201 ratings
The Seraphic Clockwork
2010
3.73 | 130 ratings
Chronicles Of The Immortals - Netherworld (Path One)
2014
3.73 | 115 ratings
Chronicles Of The Immortals - Netherworld II
2015
3.40 | 49 ratings
The Ghost Xperiment - Awakening
2019
4.12 | 63 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
0.00 | 0 ratings
Live & Immortal
2022

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 | 5 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
4.12 | 63 ratings

BUY
The Ghost Xperiment - Illumination
Vanden Plas Progressive Metal

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

5 stars I have been a fan of Vanden Plas right from the beginning, but it must be said that I thought their last album was fairly workmanlike and contained little to make it essential. Given that it was the first part of a two-part concept, and here we have the second, there was little which had me looking forward to playing it. But just by putting this on for the very first time, I found myself falling in love with Vanden Plas all over again. There are very few bands who can say they have kept the same line-up since their formation in 1986, but Vanden Plas can, which is quite some achievement, although they do also utilize guests when the time is right. Andy Kuntz (vocals), Stephan Lill (guitar), GŁnter Werno (keyboards), Andreas Lill (drums) and Torsten Reichert (bass) have been joined by Alea from the leading German medieval rock band Saltatio Mortis for a duet on the bonus track "Krieg kennt keine Sieger", Snow White Blood singer Ulli Perhonen is here for "Black Waltz Death" and "The Ghost Engineers", while the backing vocalists include longtime musical colleagues Oliver Hartmann from Avantasia and Herbie Langhans from Firewind.

Everything which was wrong with the last one is right with this one, with loads of progressive elements over the metal without ever becoming overblown. Savatage are still a huge influence, with biting riffs and cutting lyrics, and vocals which are kept to the fore. The band have always been theatrical, performing their own rock opera as well as Jon Lord's 'Concerto For Group and Orchestra' while finalizing the album (because, why not?), and here it all gels together. Powerful and powering, here we have progressive metal as its finest. They may have lost their way with the last album, but they have more than recovered ground with this one, creating something which is simply epic. It crunches when it needs to, caresses when the time is right, and at the front there is Kuntz showing he is still the consummate frontman he has always been.

I mentioned in passing to a friend that I was listening to VDP the other day as I had to review it and he was immediately incredibly excited until I pointed out it was not a new release, but one from a year ago, and he promptly started telling me just how good they are and what a great album this is. We disagree on various matters, but this time he is right, German theatrical epic prog metal just doesn't get any better than this.

 The Ghost Xperiment - Awakening by VANDEN PLAS album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.40 | 49 ratings

BUY
The Ghost Xperiment - Awakening
Vanden Plas Progressive Metal

Review by Progrussia

4 stars I like Vanden Plas (the band). They are very consistent - heavy, dramatic and melodic. The German formation have followed the 2014/2015 double album set Chronicles of the Immortals with yet another two-part gothic fantasy saga. This one is probably their most amibitious to date (I know, there's a tendency for reviewers to label in such terms a band's every other successive work, but here an objective criteria like the average song lengths may well be used). And they have wisely divided it in two installments, because to be honest, the trademark Vanden Plas sound from album to album would differ only to a very dedicated ear, and 100 minutes of this bombast would be hard to absorb in one serving.
 The Ghost Xperiment - Illumination by VANDEN PLAS album cover Studio Album, 2020
4.12 | 63 ratings

BUY
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
4.12 | 63 ratings

BUY
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
4.12 | 63 ratings

BUY
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 - Awakening by VANDEN PLAS album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.40 | 49 ratings

BUY
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.

 Chronicles Of The Immortals - Netherworld II by VANDEN PLAS album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.73 | 115 ratings

BUY
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
3.73 | 115 ratings

BUY
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 (Path One) by VANDEN PLAS album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.73 | 130 ratings

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

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars German band VANDEN PLAS has a history that goes back more than 30 years, and even if they didn't release their debut album until 1994 they merits to be reckoned among the veteran bands in the European metal scene, and coming rather close to merit a description as elder statesmen fairly soon too I'd imagine. If you count in their 1996 release "AcCult" they have 8 studio productions to their name as of March 2015. "Chronicles of the Immortals - Netherworld (Path 1) " is the most recent of these, and was released through Italian label Frontiers Records in early 2014.

Vanden Plas has earned themselves a name as a quality progressive metal band, and especially early in their careers they were often compared to the likes of Dream Theater. While I'm not overly familiar with their earlier material, comparisons of that nature doesn't come easy with this latest production of theirs, and I presume that the fairly soon to be released continuation of this disc will be rather similar in nature to this one as far as that detail goes, as this conceptual CD is the first of a series that will include at least one additional chapter. The music is still quite clearly one that resides within the progressive metal realm, but one that orients itself much closer to a different territory altogether.

Rock opera is a description that have grown fairly popular in the last couple of decades, and a growing number of metal bands have approached productions of that kind in fairly different manners. The conceptual story is a key element shared between them, but apart from that you have everything from metal bands doing what they have always done, but with a storyline and often multiple vocals roles, to the ones that take it all out and develop multiple person stories with an extensive use of vocalists to have lead vocal roles and unfolding more or less grandiose stories, of which the greater part have a foundation in fantasy and science fiction.

Vanden Plas approach to the rock opera is a different one. There's a narratoir in place for the opening part, there's a female guest vocalist given a few leads, but more often used as a backing vocalist and as a supplement to the powerful, melodic lead vocals of Andy Kuntz. There is a story told here, but mainly from a lead person point of view from what I can grasp, and the opera part of the rock opera is in this case one that revolves around arrangements and instrumentation more than anything else.

Orchestral details and arrangements is a just about constant presence throughout here, and executed in a manner that indicates that this is a band with a true affection for classical symphonic music. Not that we're given all that many instances where the orchestral arrangements dominates through and through, but they are a constant presence, and as with traditional operas we're given a fair share of sequences that highlights the lead vocals on top of a more sparse and frail instrument backing. As this is a metal band we're also treated to a liberal amount of guitar riff driven excursions of course, if you're fond of powerful and grinding guitar riffs as standalone features and as part of majestic arrangements with keyboards and orchestral textures in multiple layered, expressive runs you'll get your fill of both of these. Occasional exotic timbres and unexpected frail piano details is also a part of the big picture here, and you get a distinct impression that this is a production written and planned for a stage performance with full symphony orchestra and old fashioned opera vocalists as this creation unfolds.

I suspect this aspect of this production is the main drawback here. On an album with material impeccably performed that has been mixed and produced to just about perfection, the lacking magical extra ingredient is the power this material would have if performed with a full symphonic orchestra in a theater. That power is difficult to capture on a studio production. Still, if a band that blends progressive metal inside a framework built with heavy inspiration from classical music in general and classical opera in particular sounds intriguing, and you fancy such material performed by quality metal vocalists rather than traditional opera singers, then Vanden Plas have made an album you should enjoy through and through.

 Chronicles Of The Immortals - Netherworld (Path One) by VANDEN PLAS album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.73 | 130 ratings

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

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars As I said before in other reviews about this band, Vanden Plac carved their own path in prog metal zone since the beggining 20 years ago, being today one of the respected bands in this field,. I like all their albums, is one of the few prog metal bands from old school that has a constant quality in their song writting and implicit the releases all are above good. The latest album of the band is Chronicles of the immortals part I issued this year in february. Well, I must admit, even I like the album I was not impressed at all by the arrangements and overall atmosphere. The last 3 albums I found them ok, good for sure, but the magic moments of their '90s period is kinda far. The god thing, Farr of grace and Beyond daylight are corner stones of prog metal, har to beat them in terms of sound , songwritting, tight musicinship, so their lates album is for sure not their best. The album is far as I understand a concept based on a story by author Wolfgang Hohlbein and is a battle between heaven and hell through eyes of the immortals, an ok story to me, nothing more nothing less. As always on every Vanden Plas album the vocal parts are impressive, Andy Kuntz is definetly one of the better singers in this field for more then 20 yers, here he does no wrong again, his tone, his voice, from mellow to more angry is excellent, being on every release the cherry on the cake. The duel between guitars and keybords while are good, are no close to perfection like on their older stuff. The music is constructed on same coordonates as on previous 2-3 albums,Andreas Lill heavy riffs over GŁnter Werno waving keybords and beating drums. No particular pices is better then other, maybe The Black Knight is little more catchy then the rest. All in all decent, good but not among their most intrsting ones like first 4 albums. Still a band to watch in the future, thay have the same line up since the beggining and that si for sure a winning point in any bands career for that matter they have constant quality on every album. 3 stars for sure.
Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — jazz music reviews and archives | MetalMusicArchives.com — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.