VISIONS OF ATLANTIS
Symphonic Metal • Austria

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Visions of Atlantis is an Austrian symphonic metal band that formed in Styria, Austria in 2000. The band currently consists of Mario Plank (male vocals), Martin Harb (keyboards, synthesizer), Mario Lochert (bass), Werner Fiedler (guitars), Thomas Caser (drums), and Maxi Nil (female vocals)

The original line-up consisted of Nicole Bogner (female vocals), Christian Stani (male vocals), Werner Fiedler (guitars), Mike Koren (bass), Chris Kamper (keyboards), and Thomas Caser (drums). Inspiration came both from successful symphonic metal band Nightwish and from the myth of Atlantis. The equal combination of male and female vocals distinguishes Visions of Atlantis from Nightwish though and is more reminiscent of Lacuna Coil.

A first demo, "Morning In Atlantis", was released in 2000. In 2001 they signed with TTS Media Music/Black Arrow Productions, and in 2002 their first album, "Eternal Endless Infinity", was released. 2003 saw a change in line-up, replacing Christian Stani with Mario Plank and
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Cast AwayCast Away
Napalm 2005
Audio CD$2.58
$4.99 (used)
TrinityTrinity
Napalm 2007
Audio CD$6.83
$1.46 (used)
Eternal Endless InfinityEternal Endless Infinity
Napalm 2005
Audio CD$7.98
$4.98 (used)
EtheraEthera
Napalm Records 2013
Audio CD$5.99
$4.99 (used)
DeltaDelta
Napalm Records 2011
Audio CD$3.02
$3.99 (used)
Maria MagdalenaMaria Magdalena
EP
Napalm Records 2011
Audio CD$3.47
$7.44 (used)
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Audio CD$9.94 (used)
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Hot Rockin'
Audio CD$13.00
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Hot Rockin'
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Hot Rockin'
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VISIONS OF ATLANTIS Discography

VISIONS OF ATLANTIS albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Eternal Endless Infinity
Symphonic Metal 2002
.. Album Cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Cast Away
Symphonic Metal 2004
.. Album Cover 2.52 | 2 ratings
Trinity
Symphonic Metal 2007
.. Album Cover 3.00 | 2 ratings
Delta
Symphonic Metal 2011
.. Album Cover 2.50 | 1 ratings
Ethera
Symphonic Metal 2013

VISIONS OF ATLANTIS EPs & splits

.. Album Cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Maria Magdalena
Symphonic Metal 2011

VISIONS OF ATLANTIS live albums

VISIONS OF ATLANTIS demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Morning in Atlantis
Symphonic Metal 2000

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VISIONS OF ATLANTIS Reviews

VISIONS OF ATLANTIS Ethera

Album · 2013 · Symphonic Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Conor Fynes
'Ethera' - Visions of Atlantis (5/10)

As has become the case with virtually every sub-genre of metal, there are now stereotypes associated with symphonic metal. Though the term simply means to denote the use of symphonic, or orchestral instruments in their music, it’s difficult to consider the style without thinking of a commercially-viable, goth-infused type of melodic metal, most typically fronted by a pretty white girl in a dress or other gender-specific attire. While symphonic metal could be used to describe bands as far-flung from this stereotype as Septic Flesh and Fleshgod Apocalypse, there is no denying the prevalence of bands that go for the specific, above-mentioned style. Visions of Atlantis are one such band, and though the intriguing album art may have conjured impressions of some epic mythological ordeal, there isn’t much the Austrian act does to make themselves any different from the rest of the female-fronted European horde. “Ethera” is sure to appeal to fans of the Epica and Within Temptation, but for those looking for something a little more distinctive, Visions of Atlantis haven’t made enough of an impression on me to warrant a wholehearted recommendation.

With this latest release being their fifth full-length recording to date, I’m surprised I haven’t heard of Visions of Atlantis before. Browsing through their earlier work however, it’s clear that “Ethera” is a fairly different sound from their early work. Originally, Visions of Atlantis took the operatic sound of Nightwish and fleshed it out with a greater presence of power metal. Their original vocalist- the soprano Nicole Bogner- has since passed away, though she has not been the band for close to a decade. Their 2009 album “Delta” introduced the vocal presence of one Maxi Nil, possibly best known as the touring live singer for Moonspell. Bringing a much more pop and goth-oriented vibe to the band’s sound, Visions of Atlantis have taken a shift to accommodate Maxi’s different vocal style, putting more of a focus on ‘dark’, chugging riffs and a greater focus on melody. In a big way, this change from opera to a poppier vocalist draws parallels with Nightwish. In Nightwish’s case however, they balanced Anette Olson’s voice with a grander scope of musical ambition and epic songwriting, a change that made their music all the more interesting to me. This positive transformation is not shared by Visions of Atlantis sadly. Instead of trying to give Maxi’s voice a counterweight to compliment it, they lean towards a single style collective and ultimately sound colorless. The gothic-symphonic style has been done to death, and Visions of Atlantis aren’t doing enough with it to stand out.

In regards to songwriting, it can be said that Visions of Atlantis kknow how to make the symphonic element work to their advantage. “Ethera” enjoys a clear, detailed arrangement and production sense. Although it’s not always evident upon first listen there always seems to be a symphonic arrangement around to bolster the metal. With that being said, Visions of Atlantis never take the symphonic approach by the proverbial horns; there are no keyboard arrangements here that could stand on their own. As generic and tame as their approach may be, it’s executed with taste and efficiency. Above all, “Ethera” is a vocal-centric album. Although there is the occasional memorable riff, you’re bound to come away from the album specifically remembering the vocals. Maxi and the male vocalist Mario Plank each have a strong voice. Though they- like much of the band’s craft- come across as being middle-of-the-road and generic, they make the familiar ‘beauty and the beast’ dynamic work rather well. Maxi Nil’s voice is in a lower range than Visions of Atlantis’ previous singers; she has a grittier tone to her voice well suited to the band’s sound. The vocal melodies are pleasant enough, but there’s rarely a passage here that stirs my heart or even gets me humming along. Considering the band’s decidedly poppy approach, this is a pretty sure sign that the shift towards being relatively ‘accessible’ hasn’t worked well for them.

There’s always a degree of risk when it comes to a band changing vocalists, let alone their style. In some cases, this has worked very well for the band- Iced Earth have thrived with Stu Block, and Nightwish’s “Dark Passion Play” was the best album I’ve ever heard them make. Visions of Atlantis are a tight, skilled musical unit, but I can’t help but feel disappointed that their style is so typical of symphonic metal. The power metal edge that made their early stuff promising is absent, replaced by a focus on the same radio-friendly stuff the ‘symphonic metal’ term seems to have come to signify. “Ethera” is an album with quality enough to appeal to fans of the style. Visions of Atlantis have the innate talent and skill to make something impressive, but with this latest album, there’s not much feeling they’re stirring in me, save for ambivalence.

VISIONS OF ATLANTIS Delta

Album · 2011 · Symphonic Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Stephen
My search for a better prog/power metal outfit last year was stumbled on this. I'm not sure I have heard their previous albums before, but based on the only information that this is a female-fronted band, I expect something great in the border of SYMPHONY X and WITHIN TEMPTATION, but how unfortunate when all I got is a mediocre symphonic metal band. Sure there are some great moments here. 'New Dawn', is the best tune, a power metal track that has commercial touch and sounds very melodic, I'm in love with this right at the first spin.

'Twist of Fate' and 'Elegy of Existence' are two nice tracks, but apart from that three strong tracks, VISION OF ATLANTIS bored me with lots of poorly written tunes, such as 'Where Daylight Falls' or 'Conquest of Others'. 'Memento' is actually pretty good, gave me a thought of a colossal musical score when I first spin it, but the 6:38 duration isn't really full with goodie and they could have shorten it couple of minutes off.

'Black River Delta' isn't bad and the ballad, 'Reflection', is also far from horrible, but with only 3 great tracks, this album was struggling to fight to the top table of any prog fans end-year list. To me, a 70% top and perhaps will go down to 65% after a while.

VISIONS OF ATLANTIS Maria Magdalena

EP · 2011 · Symphonic Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Time Signature
Beyond horizon...

Genre: symphonic metal

"Maria Magdalena? Ain't that a pop song?". Why yes, it is, it is a pop song from the 80s by the German singer, Sandra, and, yes, it is that exact song that this Visions of Atlantis EP is named after. And, as you have guessed, the reason is that there is a cover version of the song on the EP. Needless to say, it has been seriously metallized and now has crunchy guitars, heavy riffage and powerful drums as well as Vision of Atlantis' trademark symphonic effects. Actually, Visions of Atlantis prove that 'Maria Magdalena' sounds just as good as a 2011 symphonic metal song as it does as a 1985 pop song. One of the strengths of the pop song, which Visions of Atlantis have thankfully retained is its memorable and very catchy chorus.

The other tracks are original Vision of Atlantis compositions. The style is basically midtempo modern power metal with symphonic effects. The focus is, however, on the guitar riffage and the vocal melodies, and the symphonic effects are kept in the background, which also keeps the cheese-o-meter comfortably out of the red. 'Melancholia' and 'Change of Tides' are quite solid and catchy symphonic power metal tracks, and especially the former has some very strong vocal hooklines, and, while the tracks are not really groundbreaking or out of the ordinary, I think they are quite good. The same goes for 'Distant Shores', while 'Last Shut of your Eyes' and 'Beyond Horizon' are epic ballads which, I must admit, do not really rock my world. I mean, they are well written with lots of melody, and I am sure that fans of epic metal ballads will absolutely love them... they just do not appeal that much to me.

As has almost become a typical feature of symphonic power metal, the vocal duties are shared by a male vocalist and a female vocalist, and this combination works quite well, although I am not a fan of it per se, and - while the vocalists are incredibly skilled - I think that they lack the power to match the heaviness of the crunchy guitar riffs.

The main attraction of this release is, for my money, the cover version of 'Maria Magdalena' as well as the very strong and catchy 'Melancholia'. The remaining tracks will probably appeal mostly to people who are already fans of the band.

(review originally posted at seaoftranquility.org)

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