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Vanden Plas: The Empyrean Equation of the long lost things // Frontiers Music

Vanden Plas: The Empyrean Equation of the long lost things // Frontiers Music

Editor’s Rating: 9/10

After four years since the closing of his conceptual story «The Ghost dXperiment – Illumination», the second part of “The Ghost Xperiment-Awakening” (2019), an two years since “Live & Inmortal” the restrospective live álbum, Vanden Plas return with a new record, an album that is not conceptual, after several projects with that approach.

This new work, which represents his eleventh studio album, is another gem in his discography. “The Empyrean Equation of the long lost things” is an album that takes no risks, it shows us Vanden Plas in its purest form. It incorporates, of course, some differential nuances, but all those who know its style can foresee what they are going to find.

And the notable change in the line-up with the incorporation of keyboardist Alessandro Del Vecchio, the “guru” of the Frontiers label, replacing Günter Werno, could lead one to think of some change in the musical direction, but no, Alessandro has not participated in the composition . and the band remains faithful to its usual patterns.

Vanden Plas – March of Saints

Stephan Lill on guitar, is the one who has taken care of the composition, a practice already common in the band, hence the great final result. Andy Kuntz on vocals has been in charge of the lyrics and designing the vocal lines.

Vanden Plas continue with their usual practice of aligning music with good narrative, we are talking about an album that maintains the level at all times, the production is impeccable. As with their ten previous albums, this is another solid album, the album of a band that knows what they are doing and does it outstandingly. The Germans have been framing works for many years where epic, theatricality and lyrics take on great prominence, it is not just music, it is a complete and complex product.

The album is made up of six songs of consistent length where the group performs a riot of melodies driven by perfect vocal harmonies. Andy Kuntz’s voice continues to be one of the hallmarks of the band with the tonalities that characterizes them. Stephan Lill’s guitars and keyboards dominate the landscape and peak at the right moments, and the rhythm section (Andreas Lill on drums and Torsten Reichert on bass) provides us with a first-class foundation.

Vanden Plas – The Sacrilegious Mind Machine

The album opens with “The Empyrean Equation of the Long Lost Things” with an orchestral beginning until the typical entrance of Stephan Lill’s guitar riffs and with a guitar-keyboard solo that already puts us in the situation. The synchronization of Andreas Lill’s drums also gives a relevant progressive nuance. You reach a slow zone that Andy Kuntz detonates with his voice entering fully with the chorus.

“My Icarian Flight” is the first thing we could hear from this work, that combination of hard rock with a clear progressive brand, perhaps the most standard songs on the album. The riffs continue to set the pace, but the keyboard arrangements are always present and the chorus is tailor-made for Andy Kuntz.

“Sanctimonarium” is ten minutes back to his origins, a song that contains many of the nuances of his first works and instrumental moments where we can enjoy Alessandro’s new contributions, perhaps the most innovative thing when it comes to undertaking solos.

Vanden Plas – My Icarian Flight

“The Sacrilegious Mind Machine” is also a very recognizable song, good keyboard sounds, the riffs structuring at all times and a great Andy Kuntz on vocals, dominating at all times, even in the subtle moments of this song, where shows your records.

With “They Call Me God” they give us that ballad that gives the album that moment of pause and as in all Vanden Plas ballads, what stands out the most is Andy Kuntz’s voice and the theatricality with which he interprets them. Curious that almost at the end they embark on a riff a la Kashmir by Zeppelin. A piece full of beauty and quality.

To close “March of the Saints”, an epic quarter-hour cut that begins very Iron Maiden-style. Andy Kuntz quickly takes over on vocals and takes us to the chorus. Another great epic song within their discography, full of nuances and great moments.

«The Empyrean Equation Of The Long Lost Things» continues the band’s legacy of pushing musical boundaries, fusing big melodies with meaningful lyrics. The secret of this magnificent band has always been knowing how to balance technique with emotions, something for which they are true masters.

Jose Antonio Marchante

01. The Empyrean Equation of the Long Lost Things
02. My Icarian Flight
03. Sanctimonarium
04. The Sacrilegious Mind Machine
05. They Call Me God
06. March of the Saints

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