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Visions of Atlantis – A Symphonic Journey to Remember Award winner

Visions of Atlantis
A Symphonic Journey to Remember
by Jean-François Poulin at 04 January 2021, 10:08 AM

VISIONS OF ATLANTIS is a Melodic Symphonic Metal band from Bruck an der Mur, Styria, Austria. This is a live recording celebrating the last album ‘’Wanderers’’ and the 20 year history of the band. It’s the second time they release a live album after a studio album, doing it in 2019 as well. This live album was recorded during the Bang Your Head Festival back in 2019, one of the biggest Metal festivals in all of the world.

There has been a revolving door of members in this band since it’s birth back in 2000, even before that when they were called VIPERA ASPIS. The only founding member still with the band is Thomas Caser. They have had four other female vocalists and three other male vocalists. It’s not easy to get on track and really follow a band if they are constantly changing members obviously.

I have been curious to listen to this band for a very long time and they were highly regarded since their debut back in 2000. They were one of the first bands with duel vocalists that ranged in styles, they started that movement with WITHIN TEMPTATION and LACUNA COIL. So you can say that VISIONS OF ATLANTIS paved the way for so many bands afterwards like AMARANTHE, EPICA, AD INFINITUM and the list goes on and on. Let’s see if my curiosity pointed me in the right direction.

I listened to this album a number of times, feeling a wide range of emotions. I guess you don’t know what to think on your first playthrough. I actually thought that the Bang Your Head festival was something outside and I was really impressed by the quality of the sound and the whole production values. But in reality, when I saw the live clips, it was a smaller venue inside so that really answered some of my qualms. I haven’t heard a live album sound so majestic since the KAMELOT album earlier in 2020.

This is the live album covering the new album ‘’Wanderers’’, an album that has a lot of traditional music influences and Irish music as well. It was a departure from what fans were used to supposedly, I read a lot about the band being I was not aware of their material at all before listening to this live opus. They trended in another direction and those live tracks resonate very well with the crowd and they have a distinct feel compared to the rest of the album.

Synergy, according to the English language dictionary is the interaction or cooperation of two or more organizations, substances, or other agents to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects like the synergy between artists. Well VISIONS OF ATLANTIS has that figured out, the combination of both singers together is incredible. They complement each other marvellously and for once it’s not like the warm female vocals and the growls, because this time you have two artists with incredible voices. When they sing together it’s just majestic, they fit so well together and they have this balance that is seamless. Clémentine has the calm soothing voice with some operatic elements thrown in (but it’s not overdone like early NIGHTWISH thankfully). As for Michele, he has a very interesting voice, like the lovechild of Michael Kiske from HELLOWEEN and Tobias Sammett from AVANTASIA.

I obviously can’t compare the vocalists to what was back in the early days of the band but this synergy is hard to beat right now. The sound of the band is quite unique for their genre, it’s like a mix of AVANTASIA and SEVEN SPIRES, it has that cinematic effect and ambiance. The music could be scores for movies, it has that grandiose feel about it and I can safely say that’s its something you don’t see much nowadays. It’s not overly symphonic, it’s more of a melodic sound with a more traditional sense of approach, it’s something really different, it’s like really heavy New Age music at times and that’s really interesting.


They have a great presence live from the live clips I have seen and those ballads are some simple yet so poignant. They stripped down the songs to it’s core, it’s only the piano and the wonderful voice of Clémentine, it’s toned down and it’s so powerful. ‘’The last Home’’ is really the best example of this, it gives you chills up and down your spine and if you don’t feel anything after listening to this song, well…check your heartbeat. They can do a bit of everything from ballads, to mid-tempo song songs and some really powerful upbringing songs like ‘’Heroes of the Dawn’’. They aren’t a one trick pony and it’s unfortunate that they aren’t that well know because they offer something extremely solid.

A great way to start 2021 and it will be hard to beat this live album, it has the energy and the kick in the butt you need to start off the year on the right foot. Underrated, understated, majestic and powerful, what a wonderful surprise. It’s not just a journey to remember, it truly is an album to remember for years to come.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Intro
2. The Deep & The Dark
3. New Dawn
4. Ritual Night
5. Lost
6. The Last Home
7. Memento
8. Release My Symphony
9. Words of War
10. Heroes of the Dawn
11. Wanderers
12 . Seven Seas
13. A Journey to Remember
14. The Grand Illusion
15. Nothing Lasts Forever
16. Passing Dead End
17. Return to Lemuria
Lineup:
Michele Guaitoli – Vocals
Thomas Caser – Drums
Christian Douscha – Guitars
Herbert Glos – Bass
Clémentine Delauney – Vocals
Record Label: Napalm Records
     


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