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Vanden Plas

Progressive Metal

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Vanden Plas Far Off Grace album cover
3.86 | 122 ratings | 11 reviews | 20% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1999

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. I Can See (4:01)
2. Far Off Grace (7:03)
3. Into the Sun (6:32)
4. Where's the Man (6:10)
5. Inside of Your Head (6:13)
6. I Don't Miss You (3:51)
7. Iodic Rain (6:54)
8. Fields of Hope (6:46)
9. I'm In You (6:43)
10. Kiss of Death (5:41)

Total Time: 59:54

Bonus tracks on 2004 SE:
11. Shape Of My Heart (4:44)
12. Iodic Rain (Live Video) (6:12)

Line-up / Musicians

- Andy Kuntz / vocals
- Stephan Lill / guitar, backing vocals
- GŁnter Werno / keyboards, backing vocals
- Torsten Reichert / bass
- Andreas Lill / drums, backing vocals

- Dennis Ward / backing vocals, co-producer & mixing

Releases information

Artwork: Arsenic

CD Inside Out Music ‎- IOMCD 043 (1999, Germany)
CD Inside Out Music ‎- IOMCD 155 (2004, Germany) With 2 bonus tracks

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy VANDEN PLAS Far Off Grace Music

VANDEN PLAS Far Off Grace ratings distribution

(122 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(20%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(53%)
Good, but non-essential (18%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

VANDEN PLAS Far Off Grace reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Greger
4 stars The first time I heard about the progressive metal band VANDEN PLAS was on the DREAM THEATER mailing list Ytsejam. I recognised that in a short period of time VANDEN PLAS was discussed quite often. With this their third release I finally got to hear them, and now I understand why they appeared in the discussions on Ytsejam. First of all they are very good, but more important is that they musically have a lot in common with DREAM THEATER. What's separating VANDEN PLAS from DREAM THEATER then? Well,DREAM THEATER lean more against their technical skills while VANDEN PLAS have, and forgive me for saying it, stronger melodies than DREAM THEATER. VANDEN PLAS are also highly technically skilled musicians but they never let their instrumental passages take too much space in their songs. All in all I think that both the bands are outstanding but in two different ways. The production is very good too. The highlight are "Inside Of Your Head", "Iodic Rain" and "Fields of Hope". The last track is a cover of Dokken's "Kiss Of Death". VANDEN PLAS is high above the average progressive metal bands. If you're living in France you can buy a special edition of this album with a 32-page photo booklet at Virgin Megastores. Go get it! Highly recommended.
Review by b_olariu
5 stars Yeah, the best Vanden Plas release so far in my opinion and one of my fav prog metal albums ever. I will be very short this time with areview. Every musician shines here, delivering some very intristing time signatures, intelligent and complex arrangements, powerfull riffs combined with intelligent kybords.This is a real solid album, that every prog metal fan must own it. We have here all the ingredients for a true gem in prog metal field. If you enjoy Seventh Wonder for ex, Poverty's no Crime or even Dreamscape this is the answer for your looking album. recommended among the best prog metal albums ever.Not a weak moment here, every piece is a gem from more mellow to rougher ones, Far off grace kick major ass. 5 stars for this one, a masterpiece of prog metal IMO.
Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This is my first CD collection from the band. Before I purchased it, I expected something symphonic from the band. It's probably the connotation in my mind that the name is similar with Van Der Graaf. I was wrong because this album is pure metal or at least it is heavily influenced by bands like Metallica, Iron Maiden, Helloween etc. Oh yes, the inclusion of keyboard player makes the music sounds symphonic.

The album is quite dominated by heavy riffing like you can find with band like Evergrey. It kicks off with heavy riffing music ' I Can See' (4:01) which opens the album with energy and power throughout the song from start to finish. It slows down into title track "Far Off Face" (7:03) whereby the music is quite light compared to opening track. The third track "Into the Sun" (6:32) brings the music back to heavy mood with raw guitar riffs combined with pulsating keyboard work. I enjoy the keyboard solo and those of rhythm section which reminds me to symphonic music.

"Where's the Man" (6:10) opens with heavy guitar riffs and long sutain keyboard work. When vocal enters the music, bass guitar plays dynamic bass lines accompanied by guitar work. "Inside of Your Head" (6:13) continues the heavy mood and this time the tempo is even faster and the combination of guitar riffs and keyboard become more aggressive. "Don't Miss You" (3:51) is completely a ballad with piano as main rhythm section. "Iodic Rain" (6:54) is another heavy riffing stuff. "Fields of Hope" (6:46) has some eastern music flavor at the opening, followed with guitar riffs that remind me to Dream Theater. "I'm With You (6:43), as the title implies, is a nice ballad with piano and acoustic guitar as rhythm section. The vocal line starts with low register notes. The album concludes with a bonus track "Kiss of Death" (5:41) which brings the music back to the heavy riff music with long sustain keyboard sound as background.

Overall, this is a good album and for me personally it's quite okay to spin these days because in couple of days from now I will be in the DragonForce "Inhuman Rampage World Tour" Live in Jakarta, May 19, 2007. DragonForce is very fast speed metal music and "Far Off Grace" by Van Den Plas can be treated as warming up . the road to DragonForce Live in Concert. Keep on rockin' ..!

"DragonForce Inhuman Rampage World Tour" Live in Jakarta: May 19, 2007, Tennis Outdoor. Featuring world's fastest metal guitar virtuoso. Be There! (or Die!).

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars I think they've simplified things a little compared to "The God Thing" and increased the heaviness while they were at it. Maybe playing in front of those large audiences when they toured with DREAM THEATER made them think more of how these songs would sound live.

"I Can See" is a good example of the heaviness, as we get hit hard by riffs right off the hop. Stephen Lill said he wasn't sure how the band would react to this song when he presented it to them, because it wasn't anything like what they had done before (the staccato riff combined with the uptempo beat). Synths then vocals join in quickly, and I must say i'm a big fan of Andy's vocals. I like when it settles a little with vocal harmonies. The drums pound relentlesly throughout and check out the guitar solo 2 1/2 minutes in. Great ending as well. "Far Off grace" is where they slow things down to start with. Pleasant vocals and acoustic guitar before a powerful display crashes in. This contrast continues. Tasteful guitar before 4 minutes with piano coming in a minute later. It kicks back into gear before 6 minutes. Nice. What a terrific way to start the album with those two songs. "Into The Sun" opens with synths that are blown away in a hurry by heavy riffs. Not blown far apparently 'cause they're back rather quickly in the background this time. Vocals and a heavy undercurrent follows. Love the chorus. Themes are repeated.

"Where's The Man" is heavy with synths to open. Nice drum work. It settles when vocals come in. I like the instrumental interlude before 4 minutes. This one is dark, atmospheric and emotional. "Iodic Rain" is spacey to open before some killer drums come in, and then it's full speed ahead. It calms down with chugging riffs, vocals and background synths. More great drumming after 3 minutes, a scorching guitar solo comes in a minute later. "I Don't Miss You" is a ballad of reserved vocals and piano for the most part. Andy wrote this as sort of a sarcastic love letter. Words like "I don't miss you, I don't even love you, I wish you would die in my arms". "Inside Of Your Head" has a cool laid back intro before the heaviness arrives. Vocals join in. Synth solo 3 1/2 minutes in followed by a guitar solo. This is one of my favs along with the first two tracks.

"Fields Of Hope" builds to a full sound before a minute. It calms down when vocals come in. Some excellent chunky bass in this one after 2 1/2 minutes to the end. "I'm With You" opens with piano then fragile vocals. Synths then acoustic guitar follow. Drums come in as it builds. Synths are prominant 3 minutes in followed by a ripping guitar solo and a full sound. It ends as it began.

I know there isn't anything new here, that isn't the point. I just love this style of music a lot. This was a blast !

Review by kev rowland
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

Latest members reviews

4 stars I've recently stumbled upon Vanden Plas and am still scratching my head as to how they remain relatively unknown?!?!? To me they sound like a cross between Dream Theater and Evergrey taking the best elements of both. Vocals are amazing, and the instrumental solos are as long or short as needed ... (read more)

Report this review (#276252) | Posted by Ramma | Sunday, April 4, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars It's always good to listen to Vanden Plas for one simple reason; they always try to focus their sound on making good songs, not just based on complexity and endless musical sections that involve to the musicians and their instruments every time, almost without breathing (I'm not against the vi ... (read more)

Report this review (#174979) | Posted by Epsilon | Monday, June 23, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is the third album of the German progressive band Vanden Plas. After the very interesting and progressive "The God Thing", the band has reached a higher level. The songs are less progressive than the previous ones (I mean on their previous release), but they are more melodic and inspired. ... (read more)

Report this review (#67175) | Posted by | Saturday, January 28, 2006 | Review Permanlink

2 stars I bought VP's Beyond Daylight album and was instantly dazzled- so of course- i went out and picked up some more albums from the band. I was very dissapointed by this album, along with The God Thing- Beyong Daylight is Beyond Better than any of their other albums- at least a 4 star album in my ... (read more)

Report this review (#38683) | Posted by | Wednesday, July 6, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars If you like this kind of music (powerful riffs and melodic vocals) this is a must have disc; the voice, so you can get an idea, is like James LaBrie meets Devon Graves meets the vocal from Sonata Arctica, it sounds very good, the music, I think, sounds like Symphony X with a darker twist (in s ... (read more)

Report this review (#11151) | Posted by Alex_DeLarge | Tuesday, May 25, 2004 | Review Permanlink

5 stars As far as i know the best prog metal to come out of Germany with the possible exception of Blind Gaurdian.Vadan Plas is more true to the prog metal les power metal like Blind Gaurdian.I love the vocals almost like Scorpians meets Dream Theater. ... (read more)

Report this review (#11147) | Posted by James Hill | Monday, November 24, 2003 | Review Permanlink

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