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Visions of Atlantis – Wanderers Award winner

Visions of Atlantis
Wanderers
by Rachel Montgomery at 01 October 2019, 11:36 PM

I first heard of VISIONS OF ATLANTIS when I saw them open for LEAVES’ EYES and EPICA in West Hartford, CT. Their album “Trinity” had just come out and it soon became a top-played staple on my iPod. A touch of adventurousness that reminds me of mythical voyages, this Austrian, French and Italian band delivers beautifully orchestrated, visionary music, so when I saw them on my “to-review” list, I was beyond stoked.

Release My Symphony” begins like a music box before warping into a full-on Symphonic Metal piece. While they use electronic elements, they sound minimal, sticking to a symphonic sound. The production, harmonic elements and soaring symphonic elements in this song are nothing less than what I expect from this band: beautiful and uplifting, with a twinge of adventure in the music. The tempo change in the refrain works to keep the song engaging through its seven-minute run. It’s my favorite son on the album and a wonderful opener.

Heroes of the Dawn” opens with the riff played on a tribal flute, again, invoking a Neverland-esque, adventure theme. Like the song before, it’s fast with an adventurous tone. It’s less complex than the last song, which is fine for a second track. To break the monotony, Visions of Atlantis tends to have more than one slow song on their albums.

Nothing Lasts Forever” is the band’s first slow song. I enjoy how the band tends to include a variety of songs and isn’t afraid to put a couple, or a few, slow songs in their albums. The way the song builds throughout, changing singers between the first and second verse, makes the ballad climb spectacularly.

A Journey to Remember” speeds things up again with a fluttery symphonic opening. It’s a little more electronic than the first track, but it brings variety to the album and doesn’t sound like a videogame. However, “A Life of Their Own” begins similarly. The saving grace is that they have choir elements in the intro that mask the symphonics. The female vocals are clear and on-point in this song and it’s my favorite element of the song.

To the Universe” begins with a cosmic sound thanks to the high piano and symphonics. The male vocalist starts out strong and I continuously marvel at how consistently good the singers are. At this point, the fast songs are becoming monotonous, so the next song, “Into the Light” is a relief. Mostly, it’s piano chords and the female vocalist. The simple construction after several songs with complex harmonies serves as a break, but it’s a beautiful song on its own. Even when the guitar solo roars in, bringing some intensity, it’s a solid, well-placed song.

The Silent Scream” begins with a synthesizer piano chord that sounds like a music box, easing into violins. The blend of new electronic sounds and older symphonic ones works here, especially when the instrumentals soften when the vocals come in. The song soars along, smooth until the intense guitar solo. The melody changes near the end of the song work to bring out the intense ending.

The Siren & the Sailor” changes things up by starting the song with the male vocalist. The subtle melody change in the chorus sounds a little like a sailor shanty, adding a thematic element. Like the last song, it follows a smooth, soaring melody until the intense guitar solo. The duet at the end of the song between the vocalists is excellent and haunting, adding more thematic elements and making for a great song.

Wanderers” is another slow song beginning with piano chords and vocals. It’s pretty, but I have to question whether we needed another slow song at this point. As an individual song, I prefer it to “Into the Light,” because of the more complex piano melodies and the echoing chorus in the second verse, but I think it’s too closely placed to the last slow song for a Metal album.

However, they follow it up with an intense song, which I believe makes up with for the slow song’s abrupt placement. “At the End of the World” starts off heavy and includes soaring vocal melodies, a bantering duet and exciting harmonies throughout the song. The sweeps in the guitar solo are captivating, catching your attention as the song intensifies.

Bring the Storm” starts with a thematically low, heavy melody with cutting choir elements and strings. It climbs up to soaring melodies in the chorus, the male and female vocalists joining forces. The duet is well-utilized again and the building intensity is well-done thematically.

In & Out of Love” is one of the shortest songs on the album, so I expected it to be an outro. It’s more like a short song itself through the first verse, then it morphs into an intense outro with electronics and soaring vocals.

Overall, since hearing about Visions of Atlantis so long ago, they’ve consistently produced excellent, thematic work, and this album doesn’t break their stride. They carry the same quality and carefully balance new electronics with traditional symphonic elements. With the exception of a few small spots, it’s stellar. If you’re a fan of traditional Symphonic Metal and haven’t heard of this band yet, I highly suggest you check them out.

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Release My Symphony
2. Heroes of the Dawn
3. Nothing Lasts Forever
4. A Journey to Remember
5. A Life of Their Own
6. To the Universe
7. Into the Light
8. The Silent Scream
9. The Siren & the Sailor
10. Wanderers
11. At the End of the World
12. Bring the Storm
13. In & Out of Love
Lineup:
Clémentine Delauney – Vocals
Michele Guaitoli – Vocals
Christian Douscha – Guitars
Herbert Glos – Bass
Thomas Caser – Drums
Record Label: Napalm Records
     


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