CD review VANDEN PLAS ‘The Ghost Xperiment: Awakening’

(7/10) German prog metallers Vanden Plas are a safe bet when it comes to releasing good music. Frontman Andy Kuntz and band mates have a long track record with a starting point in 1994 when the guys premiered with ‘Colour Temple’. Since then Vanden Plas established themselves as an important player in European Prog Metal with longplayer like the latest ‘Chronicles of Immortals – Nether World’ even entering the charts.

After having released a live album in 2017 it’s ‘The Ghost Xperiment – Awakening’ being the carrier of new Vanden Plas songs. The German sound architects recorded six new songs, reflecting the band with 100%. Big arrangements is what fans get with ‘The Ghost Xperiment – Awakening’. Sometimes heavier, incl. some Ozzy Osbourne-like riffing, and partly calm and melodic, it’s the entire sound scheme of progressive music that manifests itself on Vanden Plas’ ninth longplayer. Songs like “Fall from the Skies’ show the entire width when it comes to music and creativity. The nine minutes epos reflects the musical craftsmanship and creativity, tunes done by highly skilled musicians..

As with earlier releases also ‘The Ghost Xperiment – Awakening’ is a concept album. The story is based on a paranormal experiment. Gideon Grace, the main character of the story, deals with inner demons and the dark shades of loss before he reads about parapsychological experiments, helping him to fight the inner demons.

So far, so good. Vanden Plas delivers pretty much to expectation. What can be seen as a consistent approach building on main trademarks leads in this case also to an album that has a certain predictability. It’s not the little details that aren’t surprising. It’s the bigger picture that doesn’t provide some unexpected twists. Surely, many bands would love to release an album like ‘The Ghost Xperiment – Awakening’, but since Vanden Plas is a major league player in Progressive Metal some surprises would have added an extra thrill to a good album.

Tracklist:

  1. Cold December Night
  2. The Phantoms Of Prends-Toi-Gardes
  3. Three Ghosts
  4. Devils´ Poetry
  5. Fall From The Skies
  6. The Ghost Xperiment

Label: Frontiers Music

Genre: Progressive Metal

Release Date EU: October 11th, 2019

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