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At Vance - VII (CD)

At Vance
by Grigoris Chronis at 20 May 2007, 3:32 PM

I listened to the album three rimes in a row.
Then I took a glimpse at the new Ozzy CD.
Then I listened to the AT VANCE album a couple of times more.
Then I confirmed (once again) why mediocre (in terms of promotion/reputation) bands must be given more chances by Metal fans.
Last but not least, when it comes to Metal music Europe (still) is of 'home is where the heart is' status.
Seven albums by these 'special' German melodic Power metallers, right? The days of the band's fantastic Heart Of Steel album seem to be so 'close' and - yet - it's already seven ears ago. Not a bad album has this fine band so far released, be sure 'bout it. VII's predecessor being Chained, did ultimately prove to be one of the finest efforts of this special band. Again, 'special'? Why not? There are not many bands around succeeding in mixing finely the Euro Metal basics with some excellent melodic Hard Rock elements (plus a limited sypmhonic/neoclassical 'touch'), resulting in gaining supporters from both sides. Even if the band has not scored some (relatively) high reputation after seven albums, chances are good they'll raise their own flag of value with this latest effort, since VII stands one level ahead related to 2005's Chained.
Mats Leven is no longer a bandmate of Olaf Lenk; newcomer Rick Altzi (TREASURE LAND) now handles the 'mic' duties and the fact is that he has proven to be a damn good choice for the AT VANCE kind of music. His voice is warm enough, flirting with high-pitched vocals where needed, while he seems capable enough to use his dynamic throat the way he - or Olaf - thinks lyrics can be expressed the most appropriate way. He reminded me of a more 'heavy' version of Jeff Scott Soto and Mike Dimeo (RIOT, MASTERPLAN), to give you an idea. Limited - or none - is the info regarding the rest of the players, but - in any way - the rhythm section stands again proud and mighty, enrolling both fast and furious playing interacting with passionate mid-tempo grooves. As for Olaf Lenk himself, the man has written - again - some excellent Heavy-meets-Hard music, with 'metallic' parts exchanging roles with spectacular melodies/harmonies in a way the band has established it's own 'persona' all these years.
AT VANCE is not your typical European Metal band. No way. AT VANCE seems rather dedicated in showing elegantly (enough) how heaviness and melody can combine into one the best possible 'Euro' way. If you think bands like (post-80s) HELLOWEEN and EDGUY - in terms of songwriting 'manipulation', not the style itself - are the sole representatives of such blend, please take some time to add one more act to the list.

4 Star Rating

Breaking The Night
Cold As Ice
Friendly Fire
Golden Waves
Answer Me
Lost In Your Love
Rick Altzi - Vocals
Olaf Lenk - Guitars
Record Label: AFM Records


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