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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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Buy VANDEN PLAS Music


Chronicles Of The Immortals - NetherworldChronicles Of The Immortals - Netherworld
Frontiers Records (Universal) 2014
Audio CD$10.27
$9.28 (used)
Beyond DaylightBeyond Daylight
Inside Out U.S. 2002
Audio CD$12.95
$5.48 (used)
Seraphic ClockworkSeraphic Clockwork
Frontiers 2010
Audio CD$13.80
$19.95 (used)
Christ 0Christ 0
Import
Imports 2010
Audio CD$16.30
$19.44 (used)
Spirit of LiveSpirit of Live
Inside Out U.S. 2000
Audio CD$6.99
$5.95 (used)
Far Off GraceFar Off Grace
Extra tracks · Limited Edition · Remastered · Special Edition
Inside Out U.S. 2004
Audio CD$89.68
$9.46 (used)
Christ OChrist O
Inside Out U.S. 2006
Audio CD$18.00
$16.30 (used)
Colour TempleColour Temple
Limited Edition · Special Edition · Import
Inside Out Germany 2004
Audio CD$11.88
$6.98 (used)
God ThingGod Thing
Extra tracks · Remastered · Special Edition
Inside Out U.S. 2004
Audio CD$371.34
$11.99 (used)
Inside Of Your HeadInside Of Your Head
Audio CD$3.01
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VANDEN PLAS shows & tickets


  • Vanden Plas at Colos-Saal, Aschaffenburg on 25 Jul 2014
  • Progressive Promotion Festival on 12 Sep 2014
  • Eleven Rock on 20 Sep 2014
  • Festival de Vouziers 2014 on 1 Nov 2014
  • Vanden Plas at Spirit of 66, Verviers on 27 Nov 2014
  • Vanden Plas on 19 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)

3.40 | 58 ratings
Colour Temple
1994
3.87 | 89 ratings
The God Thing
1997
3.84 | 75 ratings
Far Off Grace
1999
4.00 | 126 ratings
Beyond Daylight
2002
4.00 | 180 ratings
Christ 0
2006
3.77 | 145 ratings
The Seraphic Clockwork
2010
3.64 | 66 ratings
Chronicles Of The Immortals, Pt. I: Netherworld
2014

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

3.91 | 28 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)

3.96 | 18 ratings
Colour Temple / AcCult (1994)
2002

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

2.77 | 25 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
 Chronicles Of The Immortals, Pt. I: Netherworld by VANDEN PLAS album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.64 | 66 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
3.64 | 66 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
3.64 | 66 ratings

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

Review by Second Life Syndrome
Collaborator 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
4.00 | 126 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
3.91 | 28 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
3.84 | 75 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
4.00 | 180 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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 The Seraphic Clockwork by VANDEN PLAS album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.77 | 145 ratings

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The Seraphic Clockwork
Vanden Plas Progressive Metal

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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 The Seraphic Clockwork by VANDEN PLAS album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.77 | 145 ratings

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The Seraphic Clockwork
Vanden Plas Progressive Metal

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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 The Seraphic Clockwork by VANDEN PLAS album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.77 | 145 ratings

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The Seraphic Clockwork
Vanden Plas Progressive Metal

Review by Oliverum

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 absorbing the decibels that The Seraphic Clockwork so generously produces.

Superb technical skills - tick! Amazing co-play - tick! Enchanting concept and lyrics - tick! Solid vocals - tick! What's missing then?

To my ears, Vanden Plas's Trans-Siberian Orchestra style and constant hints to Dream Theater/Opeth riffs would not sound bad at all, if only the band would develop these internationally accepted and ever-heared soundscapes to a new level. I am sorry to say, it doesn´t happen. Instead, the result is a fat pie of textbook example prog metal with just a teaspoon of creativity and a lot of repetition (cutting the overuse of the 4/4 time signature wouldn't hurt either).

It may very well be Vanden Plas's best effort so far, but when it comes to song compositions, it's like telling one Olsen sister from another. Yes, that's correct - you don't feel the difference. And, as a result of that, it leaves the whole album one-sided and easily forgettable.

Good metal, but non-essential.

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