CD review VANDEN PLAS ‘The Ghost Xperiment – Illumination’

Germany’s progressive metal flagship Vande Plas unleash with ‘The Ghost Xperiment – Illumination’ the eagerly-awaited second part of the ‘The Ghost Xperience’ story. It was ‘The Ghost Xperiment – Awakeing’ from 2019 that started the storyline and 12 months later the second chapter takes over.

After having premiered in 1994 with ‘Colour Temple’, a time when metal wasn’t in a heyday phase, Vanden Plas rose to a renowned band that not only comes with excellently crafted metal hymns but also deliver storylines that give guidance to the music and vice versa. The brain behind the story of ‘The Ghost Xperience’ is Vanden Plas frontman Andy Kuntz who followed his heart. He wrote the story of ghosts and it was the Phillip-Experiment being the creative trigger. Kuntz found the inspirational starting point.

Besides the narrative it’s the music being much more the solely the carrier for the story. The album features seven songs of which ‘The Outoboros’ can be called a masterpiece. The 13 minutes epos is a sum up for the entire creative force Vanden Plas brings to the table. Not only that the story is transferred in an impressive fashion, it’s the music that shows everything prog metal fans can ask for. Kuntz vocals are touching since he is not only singing a song. He lives the role he takes over as a singer which makes the songs and the album to a treat. From the Savatage-reminding piano parts to the heavy outburst the music amplifies the storyline. Words, tones, notes and riffs unite.

You can drop the needle wherever you want, the music on thislongplayer will not disappoint you. A song I would like to mention is the great ‘Under the Horizon’. The calmer sections, the thundering drums and the exquisitely outlined melodies are a pleasure for fans of progressive metal. Sometime you might feel reminded of bands like Dream Theater but Vanden Plas has enough own tools to create their own musical identity.

Vanden Plas add with the new album ‘The Ghost Xperiment – Illumination’ a next musical milestone to their already impressive discography. A well written plot fuses with stellar music to a theatrical album with big soundscapes and the right level of heaviness. I’m impressed.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

Tracklist:

  1. When the World is Fallig Down
  2. Under the Horizin
  3. Black Waltz Death
  4. The Lonely Pschogon
  5. Fatal Arcadia
  6. The Ouroboros
  7. Ghost Enhineers
  8. Krieg kennt keine Sieger (bonus track)

Label: Frontiers Music

Genre: Progressive Metal

Release Date EU: December 4th, 2020

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