20.3.13

Visions of Atlantis - Ethera 2013

Once emerged as Nightwish inspired band, Visions of Atlantis is middle Europe answered to their northern neighbor in the battle of female fronted metal band. VoA also unique among others for that the band did not left one front-woman dominated the entire career, for they already rolled three singers in just five studio albums. This lead to different characters of their sounds, the late Nicole Bogner was a soprano operatic close to Tarja era, the current Maxi Niil is cleaner voices in gothic metal style while former American Melissa Ferlaak is in between. Their first debut Eternal Endless Infinity was a Nightwish tribute, but they slowly developed their style, peak in Trinity, saw them as one of few early band that utilized double singers in symphonic metal act. But then upon listening VoA latest album to date, Ethera, it's most likely we shall see another power metal band step into free world of 'female fronted metal' leaving most of their power and symphonic stuffs behind.

Now, first song The Ark. This is a clear chances on their opening act, without double pedal or bombastic orchestration. The Ark passed away as a simple synthesizer rich melodic metal act. Thing lift up heavier in the second track Machinage. This is a good song that memorable from the start of the verse, especially the good lyric writing fit the melody well. Avatara also a well written song, very rich in keyboard composition with all the synth voices connecting the gap between the singers, guitar distortion and a mandolin. Vicious Circle is a thick bass layered ballad song, with Mario Plank and Maxi takes turn to conquered the art of human voices. Hypnotized is another hit song, mostly once again thanks to the creative keyboard effect and now followed with good drum phrases in the opening. Tlaloc's Grace starts with a vocal duet, then developed into rather groove beat, and for a second, heaviest track in the album. Burden Of Divinity is also an interesting song with lot of twist in this only three minutes song. Give acoustic guitar a chance to shine in Cave Behind The Waterfall. I can't ignore the rest of the song since AEON 19th again prove interesting enough to extended the listening session. More Maxi Niil + string arrangements in Bestiality vs Integrity. And finally Clerics Emotion in the last position, and they left the most close to power metal song here.

Unlucky for symphonic metal fans, Ethera is not Visions of Atlantis in their earlier years. Instead this is a rather rich melodic metal album. The album dominated heavily with keyboards creativity. Also the drum's parts, although there are no speed and galloping beat here, the drum is another rich element in the album. Guitars part unfortunately only stay in behind as accompaniment, and even further the solos are just there without the over shred parts. Ethera might grow slow in the first listening, but the effort the band puts in each song will win you later. Still a very interesting work from Visions of Atlantis.

Metal Harem class: ******** eight stars out of ten

Vision of Atlantis Ethera 
buy it here at Amazon

01. The Ark
02. Machinage
03. Avatara
04. Vicious Circle
05. Hypnotized
06. Tlaloc’s Grace
07. Burden Of Divinity
08. Cave Behind The Waterfall
09. AEON 19th
10. Bestiality vs. Integrity
11. Clerics Emotion
12. Tlaloc’s Grace – Orchestra Version (Bonus Track)

Cris Tían, guitars
Mario Plank, vocals;
Martin Harb, keyboards;
Maxi Nil, vocals
Roland Navratil, drums



Visions of Atlantis Ethera 2013 album review

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