VANDEN PLAS
Progressive Metal • Germany

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Vanden Plas is a German progressive metal band, based in Kaiserslautern and founded in the late 1980s. The band surrounding vocalist Andreas Kuntz have succeeded in making a name for themselves on an international level, enjoy almost cult status in France, have been touring all over Europe with established acts like Dream Theater, Savatage or Angra and can point to a number of impressive releases, among them three studio albums, a live cut, an unplugged recording, and several EPs. With their latest offering, Beyond Daylight (2002), Vanden Plas once again emphasise their leading position on the international prog scene, opening an exciting new chapter in their band history.

Beyond Daylight contains nine brand-new prog metal tracks which stand out with their brilliant melodies, exquisite instrumental passages and intelligent arrangements, and the powerful rock ballad 'The Healing Tree' mirrors perfectly the fascination that this band has in the line: "Where we
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Beyond Daylight by Vanden Plas (CD, Feb-2002, Inside Out) Beyond Daylight by Vanden Plas (CD, Feb-2002, Inside Out) USD $5.99 Buy It Now 23 days
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VANDEN PLAS Colour Temple CD (Near Mint) VANDEN PLAS Colour Temple CD (Near Mint) USD $16.62 Buy It Now 26 days
VANDEN PLAS Far Off Grace CD (Near Mint) VANDEN PLAS Far Off Grace CD (Near Mint) USD $16.62 Buy It Now 26 days
VANDEN PLAS The God Thing CD (Near Mint) VANDEN PLAS The God Thing CD (Near Mint) USD $16.62 Buy It Now 26 days
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 ~  VANDEN PLAS CHRONICLES OF THE IMMORTALS - NETHERWORLD ~ MUSIC CD ~ VANDEN PLAS CHRONICLES OF THE IMMORTALS - NETHERWORLD ~ MUSIC CD USD $6.99 Buy It Now 27 days
Vanden Plas - Christ 0 CD Vanden Plas - Christ 0 CD USD $26.67 Buy It Now 27 days
Vanden Plas : Beyond Daylight CD (2002) Vanden Plas : Beyond Daylight CD (2002) USD $12.95 Buy It Now 28 days
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Chronicles Of The Immortals - NetherworldChronicles Of The Immortals - Netherworld
Frontiers Records (Universal) 2014
Audio CD$10.03
$9.28 (used)
Christ OChrist O
Inside Out U.S. 2006
Audio CD$19.95
$4.05 (used)
Seraphic ClockworkSeraphic Clockwork
Frontiers 2010
Audio CD$28.69
Beyond DaylightBeyond Daylight
Inside Out U.S. 2002
Audio CD$12.95
$5.48 (used)
God ThingGod Thing
Extra tracks · Remastered · Special Edition
Inside Out U.S. 2004
Audio CD$21.69
$12.87 (used)
Spirit of LiveSpirit of Live
Inside Out U.S. 2000
Audio CD$6.99
$5.64 (used)
Far Off GraceFar Off Grace
Extra tracks
InsideOut Music 1999
Audio CD$13.94
$8.98 (used)
Christ 0Christ 0
Import
Imports 2010
Audio CD$17.01
$18.16 (used)
Colour TempleColour Temple
Limited Edition · Special Edition · Import
Inside Out Germany 2004
Audio CD$28.59
AccultAccult
Import
Insid 1998
Audio CD$57.86
$11.77 (used)
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VANDEN PLAS Discography

VANDEN PLAS albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 4.00 | 4 ratings
Colour Temple
Progressive Metal 1994
.. Album Cover 4.04 | 6 ratings
The God Thing
Progressive Metal 1997
.. Album Cover 3.34 | 11 ratings
Far Off Grace
Progressive Metal 1999
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 13 ratings
Beyond Daylight
Progressive Metal 2002
.. Album Cover 3.60 | 15 ratings
Christ 0
Progressive Metal 2006
.. Album Cover 4.03 | 17 ratings
The Seraphic Clockwork
Progressive Metal 2010
.. Album Cover 4.10 | 5 ratings
Chronicles Of The Immortals: Netherworld (Path 1)
Progressive Metal 2014

VANDEN PLAS EPs & splits

.. Album Cover 3.52 | 2 ratings
AcCult
Progressive Metal 1996

VANDEN PLAS live albums

.. Album Cover 3.75 | 4 ratings
Spirit of Live
Progressive Metal 2000

VANDEN PLAS demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Days Of Thunder
Progressive Metal 1991

VANDEN PLAS boxset & compilations

VANDEN PLAS singles (7)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Raining In My Heart
Progressive Metal 1986
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Keep On Running
Progressive Metal 1991
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Fire
Progressive Metal 1992
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Das Ist Für Euch
Progressive Metal 1994
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Des Hauts, Des Bas
Progressive Metal 1996
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Inside Of your Head
Progressive Metal 1999
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
I Don't Miss You
Progressive Metal 2000

VANDEN PLAS movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

VANDEN PLAS Reviews

VANDEN PLAS The Seraphic Clockwork

Album · 2010 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
The Block
Rush of Silence

Vanden Plas had never caught my attention enough to get any of their albums. But, once “The Seraphic Clockwork” came out, I was instantly enthralled in their great sound and talent. “The Seraphic Clockwork” is a little over an hour long and it never once gets boring, sporting great riffs, choruses, and overall perfect technicality. Every thing mixes well and the musicians are absolutely superb.

The guitars are nice and heavy on this album and when mixed with the drums offer up a great sound that any metal fan will enjoy. On the track “Rush of Silence” where the guitars offer a great starting point for both the song and the vocals, this is especially apparent. The harmonies on this song play a key role in it being one of my favorite on the album. The vocals by Andy Kuntz are so crisp and clear that when they are harmonized it sounds almost as if it were on voice which adds so much to the overall great feel of the album. The bass, played by Torsten Reichert is absolutely superb and you can really here how good he is on the ballad like song “Quicksilver”.

Another great thing about Vanden Plas is that they play prog metal in one of its simplest forms. Of course simple and prog metal is kind of like and oxymoron, but in this case it is true. They focus more on being technically sound than playing fast of even insanely hard things that if not played right would sound bad. Even if Vanden Plas did play any of the above, though, they would still sound excellent.

The production on this album is another high point, featuring great transitions between light and heavy, drawn out and tight. In a way it is some what similar to a lot of recent prog metal albums that I’ve listened to, but it is still great production.

Vanden Plas is a superb band that deserves every credit that is thrown there way. In the past, they have released some great material, and they have continued that tradition here with “The Seraphic Clockwork”. It took me awhile to realize how good this album was; around 3-4 more listens than usual, but many progressive metal fans will be able to tell how good this album is with in the first couple of listens. For a great release Vanden Plas gets 4 stars.

VANDEN PLAS Spirit of Live

Live album · 2000 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Pelata
Captured at the famed Elysee Montmarte in Paris during a sold-out performance in February of 2000, Vanden Plas’ Spirit of Live is a powerful, energetic live album!

Live albums, for me, are usually hit and miss. Either the mix is bad, I don’t like the song choices, the vocals are way below par or, sometimes, all of the above. The first thing that jumped out at me with this disc is that the mix is huge! Thumping kick drums, thick guitars, omnipresent keyboards and a solid bottom end allayed any fears I had about the sonic quality of Spirit of Live. Test 1: passed.

The songs here paint an accurate picture of what Vanden Plas is. In case you don’t know, Vanden Plas is a melodic prog metal band from Germany along the lines of a more European styled Dream Theater minus the tendency toward 30-minute songs. Everything about this band just screams maturity! The song arrangements, the dramatic melodies, the emotional and spiritual lyrical themes, even the way they use their progressive qualities all flow effortlessly and seamlessly together into an all-around great aural experience! Probably the best band of their kind to emerge from Germany, ever! The songs here are drawn from their three studio albums, plus two new instrumentals. From the band’s ’95 debut Colour Temple, we’re treated to “Soul Survives” and a newly re-arranged version of “How Many Tears” complete with a crowd sing-along of the songs chorus led by vocalist Andy Kuntz, en Francais! Tres cool, if I may say so! From The God Thing, the album many Vanden Plas fans consider their best, we get “You Fly” and “Rainmaker.” The latter features a guest appearance by newly christened Elegy axe-man Patrick Rondat. And lastly from their last studio disc Far Off Grace we get show opener “I Can See,” “Into the Sun,” “Iodic Rain” and the albums title track. All in all a good cross section of the band’s strong points. Test 2: passed.

Now the main problem I have had with live albums in the past: the vocals. Usually, a live album is recorded near the end of a tour. This is great for the band, because by the end of a tour, they are usually about as tight and precise as they can possibly be. That is certainly evident on Spirit of Live. Each member of the band gives a stellar performance. Guitarist Stephan Lill is on fire! He balances fury and finesse like few guitarists can. Just listen to his instrumental spotlight “Spirit of Life” for confirmation of that statement. Keyboardist Gunter Werno pulled away from his many guest fill-ins long enough to prove why he is in such high demand as a session and tour player. His own solo piece, “Journey to Paris,” starts off with a blazing synth lead before an almost tear-jerking piano melody makes you want to close your eyes and just listen. Bassist Torsten Reichert and drummer Andreas Lill are both at the top of their game this night. What about the vocals? Well, Andy Kuntz has done what I thought to be almost impossible! He actually sounds just as good on this live album as he does on the band’s studio offerings! Each song is delivered true to form with apparent ease. He holds all his notes in the right places, his feel and range are good, and he shows virtually no signs of fatigue. It’s also cool to hear him speak to the audience in English and French, stirring them into a frenzy! The live background vocals are also on the mark, even if a little low in the mix. Test 3: passed with flying, vivid colors!

Vanden Plas has delivered a live album not only for their fans, but one that could easily serve as an introduction to their powerful music. Bravo!

VANDEN PLAS Beyond Daylight

Album · 2002 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Pelata
Vanden Plas is a band I latched onto back when their second full-length The God Thing came out. At first listen, I thought it was pretty similar to Dream Theater, but different and good enough to warrant plopping down my hard earned cash. Further listens revealed a band with their own sound, their own style, their own feel and that is creating their own distinct mark on the prog metal scene. I have been hooked ever since. Their last studio effort Far Off Grace garnered them even more positive attention, while finding the band simplifying their approach just a bit. It was a little heavier, and a bit less complex arrangement-wise. Not to say that is was a bad record, it was very good and still quite enjoyable, but it was different.

However, with the release of their fourth full-length release Beyond Daylight, the band takes the heavier direction of Far Off Grace and steers it into the more progressive territory of The God Thing, thus creating their most complete work to date. This record is nothing short of stellar! From the dense, Stephan Lill’s wide rhythm and velvet acoustic guitar tones, to the mood-creating keyboards of Gunter Werno, to Andy Kuntz’s rich and powerful vocals, this is an album that screams quality. Opening cut “Nightwalker” has a slow burn verse before a strong, emotional chorus, which gives the record’s first real taste of Kuntz’s vocal skills; strong, soaring melodies. The instrumental section is proof positive that the band is back on a prog playing field and showing their abilities superbly while not firing a barrage of notes at the listener. “Free The Fire” is a straight up metal burner with headbanging tempos and lots of cool double kick-drum patterns. Lill’s soloing here is spectacular as well. The nearly 11-minute title track is yet another jewel in Vanden Plas’ crown. Beginning with beautiful piano work by Werno, it delves into a strong, syncopated riff overlaid with nice keyboard color. The verses have a good, intense feel with Kuntz’s vocals once again taking center stage in the chorus. This is a band that can take you on a journey and not have you wanting to hit the ‘skip’ button.

For me, the highlight of the record is the third track, “Scarlet Flower Fields.” Beginning with an ambient acoustic/vocal melody it builds into a deep, moody piece of melodic metal mastery. Werno’s keys add the right nuances on the breaks and transitions throughout the nearly 6-minute piece. The mood creation in this tune is among some of the best I have heard, giving the listener a sense of desperation and longing every time that impeccable chorus comes in. The instrumental section is another hot spot for the band, building, twisting and turning through catchy syncopations, grand melodies and more excellent soloing by Lill. I’ll go ahead and say it flat out, Stephan Lill is a totally underrated and unrecognized player. His soulful feel combined with his top-shelf chops make for one intimidating guitar slinger! Let’s hope this record helps bring him, and Vanden Plas, into more of a prominent place in prog metal. Beyond Daylight finds the band combining their collective and individual strengths into a record that will not only make a strong first impression, but is sure to be remembered many years from now as one of the best releases in the genre.

VANDEN PLAS The Seraphic Clockwork

Album · 2010 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
J-Man
Quicksilver

Vanden Plas is one of the superior progressive metal groups in Germany - which is certainly saying a lot when considering all of the German prog metal bands out there. Although Vanden Plas has never been recognized as much their American brethren such as Symphony X, Dream Theater, or Fates Warning, The Seraphic Clockwork further confirms that Vanden Plas deserve to be regarded as one of the best groups in the melodic prog metal genre. This isn't an album that's going to blow you away with a highly original approac, but it succeeds tremendously with its intention - and that's creating excellent prog metal that proves the genre is far from dead. If you're someone who's tired of the style of music that Vanden Plas plays, I'd still recommend giving it a shot - it's that good. Every song is spectacular in its own way, and when you put it all together you have a brilliant gem of an album. Fans of Vanden Plas and progressive metal in general should definitely check out The Seraphic Clockwork!

The music here is unquestionably Vanden Plas. They play progressive metal in the style of Dream Theater, but with less of an emphasis on soloing and more of a focus on melody. There's still some terrific guitar and keyboard duals, but don't expect a whole lot of noodling on The Seraphic Clockwork. A lot of the music is focused around the terrific vocals from Andy Kuntz and melodic instrumentation. Just listen to a tune like the ballad-ish "Quicksilver" or the epic "On My Way to Jerusalem", and it's obvious that Vanden Plas isn't entirely engulfed in attempts to play at the speed of light. All 9 songs here are absolutely wonderful progressive metal tracks, so it's difficult to pick a favorite. However, it'd be criminal to not mention "On My Way to Jerusalem" as a standout track, considering that is one of the best progressive metal songs in all of 2010. The instrumental section towards the end of "Rush of Silence" is also noteworthy. Even though much of this album is focused on melody, this complex instrumental section proves how excellent these guys can also be from a technical standpoint. Of course, another great thing about Vanden Plas is the group of musicians that make up the band. They're a tight playing unit that still puts feeling and emotion into their playing. There's not much more you could ask from a progressive metal band!

The production is great. It's nothing too special in the modern prog metal scene (a lot of albums have a similar production), but that's not necessarily a bad thing, is it? The transitions between heavy and atmospheric sections sound great and certainly get the job done.

Conclusion:

Vanden Plas is one of the best bands in prog metal, and they've once again proved that with The Seraphic Clockwork. Although this isn't going to satisfy somebody who's craving a revolutionary album, it's an essential purchase for any fan of melodic progressive metal. There isn't a single weak track on the entire album, which is saying something when we're talking about a 72 minute album. This is 4.5 stars well-earned - one of the best albums in its genre from 2010. After giving the album many spins, it's clear that every second of the four-year wait for The Seraphic Clockwork was worth it. Let's just hope it's not nearly that long until we hear another great album from Vanden Plas! Strongly Recommended!

VANDEN PLAS The Seraphic Clockwork

Album · 2010 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
lukretio
Solid sixth effort from Vanden Plas, gifted progressive-metal band from Germany. The Seraphic Clockwork is a concept album based on a science fiction story written by singer Andy Kuntz about a man travelling back in time from 16th century Rome to 33AD Jerusalem to face his ineluctable fate.

All songs are a well-balanced mix of power, melody and technical prowess. The execution is spotless, and the production is professional and powerful. Stephan Lill’s sharp guitars provide strong riffs throughout the album and are the absolute protagonist in shaping the structure of the songs. Keyboardist Günter Werno also deserves a special mention: his synth and keyboard textures work as an indispensable contrast to the heavier guitar sections and help keep the songs fresh and engaging (check out his excellent work on the ballad ‘Quicksilver’ or in the heavier and darker ‘Rush of Silence’). Andy Kuntz is a gifted and technical vocalist and ‘The Seraphic Clockwork’ is in fact a very vocal-centered album which lives its best moments when the vocal melodies really shine, like in the powerful ‘Holes in the Sky’ or in the variegated and more complex ‘On My Way to Jersulam’. Similarly, when the vocal melodies are less inspired (like in the rather ordinary ‘Sound of Blood’) the songs fall flat and remain forgettable.

The biggest limit of the material is – in my opinion - its lack of originality, as all riffs and melodies share similarities with those proposed by other successful prog-metal acts such as Evergrey, Dream Theatre, Seventh Wonder or Shadow Gallery. But, all in all, this is a strong effort and an excellent exercise in (heavy) progressive-metal music, and if you are a fan of any of the bands mentioned above you’ll certainly enjoy this as well.

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