VANDEN PLAS - The Ghost Xperiment - Awakening - Black LP
Popular prog metal band from Germany who garners a ton of respect from the quite discerning fans of the genre. The release of the quintet's ninth studio album highlights the high artistic level of creativity that they have sustained for so long. Musically, Vanden Plas once again offers a perfect combination of hard and melodic, while the orchestral arrangements here are more in the background compared to the last album. At the same time, the quintet comes close to its original roots, such as “The God Thing” or “Far Off Grace.” There are more progressive elements in the songs, similar to what one knows from earlier releases. The six, mostly long, pieces achieve an impressive and fascinating effect through a very band-oriented arrangement, so that the clear and intensive urgency of the songs shines through naturally and unpretentiously. The listener is captivated from the start, first by the songs, that each deserve to be called epic, and then the lyrics, which one is drawn into the story and begins to experience the same emotional adventure as the protagonist, Gideon Grace.
“The Ghost Xperiment – AwakenIng” is based on an actual documented paranormal experiment. The main character in the story, created by frontman Andy Kuntz, is Gideon Grace, who must constantly fight for his life against the relentless shadows of the “House of Rain” as he wanders through France. Burdened with a heavy weight of sorrow following the agonizing death of his beloved Ivy, Gideon's pain is also the driving force in a war with his demons. He expands his knowledge with books he finds in the library of a German school of metaphysics and it is there that he reads about secret teachers and parapsychological experiments, which become an important foundation from which he can fight against the creatures of darkness. After the first showdown with these demons, rather than finding peace, the insights Gideon learns from this fight tear open a hole deep into the abyss of Hell...
The album was once again a product of the trusted collaboration with sound engineer Markus Teske at Bazement Studios.
The addition of “Awakening” in the album title hints that this album is the first part of an exciting concept. The continuation, “The Ghost Xperiment - IIIumination,” is expected to be released in fall 2020.
Between their last two studio releases, Vanden Plas composed the highly successful rock opera “Everyman,” performing it over 60 times at theaters in Kaiserslautern, Münster, Innsbruck, and Pforzheim. In addition, 2017 saw the release of the live CD/DVD “The Seraphic Live Works,” and in July 2019 the elegantly designed boxset “The Epic Works 1991-2015” appeared, containing every album produced in that time period. In between, Vanden Plas performed in the Wiesbaden Staatstheater's 2017-18 production of the rock opera “Jesus Christ Superstar.” The band's engine is running at top speed, to say the least.
- Cold December Night
- The Phantoms Of Prends-Toi-Garde
- Three Ghosts
- Devils' Poetry
- Fall from the Skies
- The Ghost Xperiment
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