In Germany Vanden Plas is one of the most celebrated prog bands around. Rightly so, because they always deliver on albums like Far Off Grace, The God Thing and Christ 0. Most band members are active in the theatre scene around Kaiserslautern. Anyway, they found time to record yet a new album, entitled The Seraphic Clockwork. Let’s take a closer look.
As with their previous albums Vanden Plas continue with solidifying their familiar blend of progressive metal. The focus is on great songs with memorable hooks, with the occasional burst of technical powerplay, sudden breaks and other tricks from the progrock/metal rule book.
The songs range from straightforward metal (Frequency, Holes In The Sky) to more proggy stuff (Scar Of An Angel, Sound Of Blood, The Final Murder) up to On My Way To Jerusalem. That’s the climatic and most adventurous composition on the album.
Vanden Plas is fine form on this album. The songs are very well crafted, the vocals by Andy Kuntz really tie them together, Stephen Lill still proves to be a gifted songwriter and the rest of the band is just as solid. Production wise The Seraphic Clockwork sounds really good.
The Seraphic Clockwork isn’t the most flashy or the most adventurous prog album of this year. It’s very much a solid affair, backed by memorable compositions and a flawless execution by Andy Kuntz and Co. As for me I like my prog a bit more adventurous and experimental, but then again Vanden Plas is a band with its own distinctive style and I doubt their fan base would have it any other way.
written by Raymond Westland