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SANVOISEN

Progressive Metal • Germany


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Sanvoisen biography
SANVOISEN was a progressive metal band from Baden-Württemberg, Germany, formed in 1990. It was not until 1992 that the line-up was solidified and in 1993 they released their only demo 'Exotic Ways', which was particularly well received by the press. The positive response encouraged the band to play numerous gigs in Germany. In the summer of the same year the band recorded a 4-track tape in Cologne's White House Studios with producer Luke Herzog (keyboardist and arranger of SCORPIONS) that led to the band signing to Noise Records.

In the summer of 1994 they started the production of their debut using the same studio and producer as before and the album was finally mixed by Tommy Newton in Hannover's Stairway to Heaven studios, and released in January 1995 entitled 'Exotic Ways', borrowing the title of their demo. Several live performances followed, among them appearances in festivals with SAXON, URIAH HEEP and DEEP PURPLE. End of 1995 finds them concentrating on the pre-production of the follow-up album, which was recorded in the spring of 1996 with Tommy Newton as the producer in Stairway to Heaven studios. 'Soul Seasons' was released in January 1997.

The band's line-up had remained unchanged during their two major releases: Vaggelis MARANIS - Vocals, Angel SCHÖNBRUNN - Guitar, Hendrik BÖTTCHER - Guitar, Horst Gamo ANDREE - Bass, Ulf S. GOKELER - Drums. The band recorded in 1999/2000 a so far unreleased 4-track demo under a different line-up - indeed SCHÖNBRUNN was the only remaining member at the time - and disbanded in 2000.

SANVOISEN's sound is representative of the German power-progressive metal scene that saw a rise in fame in the 90's, although they incorporate also influences from QUEENSRYCHE and melodic metal. Fans of CONCEPTION might also find similar elements in their music.

Biography by aapatsos

Sanvoisen official website

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Buy SANVOISEN Music


SOUL SEASONSSOUL SEASONS
Noise Records
Audio CD$6.99
$2.49 (used)
Exotic WaysExotic Ways
Import
Japanese Victor Co. 1999
Audio CD$30.57
$14.22 (used)
Soul SeasonsSoul Seasons
Import
Noise Records
Audio CD$23.32
$20.99 (used)
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SANVOISEN discography


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

4.00 | 1 ratings
Exotic Ways
1994
3.00 | 2 ratings
Soul Seasons
1997

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

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SANVOISEN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Soul Seasons by SANVOISEN album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.00 | 2 ratings

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Soul Seasons
Sanvoisen Progressive Metal

Review by aapatsos
Special Collaborator Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams

3 stars A worthy follow-up

SANVOISEN's 'Soul Seasons' came three years after their very good debut and brings a more power metal approach than its predecessor. The main elements that constitute the band's sound are still there: the very good, high-pitched, ala-Tate (albeit slightly Greek-accented-problematic) vocals from Maranis and the powerful, clear, up-front guitars, the mid-tempo riffs borrowing heavily from Queensryche and Conception.

The opening ''Spirits'' is a ''safe'' short mid-tempo power metal track, with solid guitar riffs, reminding me of Annihilator's mid-90's, with a very melodic refrain and Maranis' voice dominating all the way through. The short soloing after 2 minutes adds a melodic/different tone to the otherwise heavy-guitar driven track. ''Mindwars'' speeds up considerably resembling Khan's vocal lines in Conception's 'Parallel Minds' and Savatage's great-guitar moments of the 80's. Not much of progressive metal so far, which is to come with the first real highlight ''Behind my Dreams''. Twin guitars initiate and a semi-complex rhythm section follows up, building up to a memorable super-heavy bridge and a grandeur refrain with the best vocal performance from Maranis. The riffs are not re-inventing the wheel, based again on the successful mid-tempo Queensryche/Conception recipe, but the way the different sections are combined creates a masterpiece of a track. Some funky soloing after 4 minutes adds the finishing touch. The first relaxed moment comes with ''The Difference'', a catchy melodic semi-ballad, with the interest focussing on the range and creativity of the vocal lines.

The title track begins with Sieges Even-like clean guitars, and builds up anxiously to a majestic bridge, only to disappoint with the uninspired AOR-oriented refrain which spoils the whole magic. This is enough to render the track rather forgettable, despite the excellent progressive twin guitar soloing during the 5th minute. ''Against the Fears'' is drawn out of Conception's best moments and returns to the opening tracks' solid power metal; even the multiple vocals replicate the Norwegians' approach in their '93-'95 period. ''Broken Silence'' is a bit too soft for my liking; it would not surprise me to listen to the same song with Greek lyrics, clearly exhibiting a Mediterranean-Latin feeling, albeit the structure is rather weak and fails to engage the listener. The same does not happen with the introduction of ''Waiting for the Rain'', which is clearly influenced by oriental musical paths. Riffs and vocals dance to slow and heavy eastern rhythms and an epic atmosphere. ''Somebody's Stolen my Name'' closes the album in a more or less similar way as it opened: enthusiastic heavy/power riffs in a short ''in-your-face'' track with melodic refrains.

All and all, another very good album from the German band that would appeal to friends of creative progressive/power metal, with a particular liking in Conception and 80's Queensryche. Although the resemblance to the abovementioned bands, their sound remains much more original compared to the majority of today's bands operating in the same style. For those interested, it is recommended that you start from their debut but also check this one to get the full picture - you will not be disappointed. Compared to that, ''Soul Seasons'' has less highlights and a less progressive approach and thus gets a slightly lower rating of 3.5-.

Highlights: Behind my Dreams, Waiting for the Rain, Spirits

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 Exotic Ways by SANVOISEN album cover Studio Album, 1994
4.00 | 1 ratings

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Exotic Ways
Sanvoisen Progressive Metal

Review by aapatsos
Special Collaborator Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams

— First review of this album —
4 stars SANVOISEN are a relatively unknown band to the standard prog-metal fanbase that only released two albums in the 90's and then sadly disappeared. Although they broadly belong in the "melodic prog-power metal" scene of Germany, their sound shows elements that distinguishes them from the "pack".

One of the first things that stands out listening to the album is the distinct voice (and accent) of Greek singer Vagelis Maranis who has since left a good name for himself in the metal circles. Typical high-pitched vocals but with a beautiful melodic tint, that resembles at times to Geoff Tate. At more mellow moments, influences from the melodic lines of Ray Alder can be observed (Night). The foreign accent does stand out but does not ruin the final result. The twin-guitar arrangements of Schönbrunn and Böttcher play a dominant role and characterise the sound of the band, reminding at times of Iron Maiden's best moments (I'm Alive).

As a band belonging to the legendary Noise Records, the power metal background is evident, but the number of prog twists and unconventional arrangements certainly moves them under the "prog" banner. The main influence heard abundantly throughout the album is that of Queensryche and it shows dominantly in the mid-tempo tracks such as The Law, Believe and No Place for Me. Not surprisingly, the influence of Conception (same record company, already famous at the time) appears in the album, mostly in the more straightforward power-metal tracks (Under Permission, What I Mean, I'm Alive).

The best bass performance of the album can be heard in Blind where Andree's complex bass lines approach the virtuosity of Sieges Even. The mellow moments are not absent (Tears for Noone, Time is Not and Night), they do not add a lot to the quality of the album, but also do not impact greatly on the end result.

SANVOISEN's debut is a great example of artistically executed prog-power metal and should appeal to fans of Queensryche, Fates Warning and certainly Conception (like myself) and it is worth no less than 3.5 stars.

Highlights: The Law, Colors Around, The Blind, Believe

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