Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Visions Of Atlantis’

Visions Of Atlantis – Ethera

tekst: Ann de Langhe

Visions Of Atlantis - Etheraband: Visions of Altantis
album: Ethera
genre: Symfonic Metal
release: 22 maart 2014
label: Napalm Records

Met “Ethera” is de Oostenrijkse formatie Visions of Atlantis aan haar vijfde album toe. De productie werd overgelaten aan klinkende namen zoals Frank Pitters en Jakob Grabmayr. Voor de mastering werd aangeklopt bij de Finnvox studio in Finland. Dat klinkt allemaal alvast veelbelovend.

De titel ‘Ethera’ is een samenvoegsel van ether: dat de energie tussen de bandleden symboliseert en era: dat staat voor de nieuwe weg die de groep is ingeslagen.

De keuze voor de titel doet vermoeden dat de plaat bol staat van dromerige nummers. Dit wordt bevestigd door de opener ‘The Arch’ waarbij de harmonie in de zanglijnen opvallend is. Dit komt nog beter tot uiting in het volgende nummer ‘Machinage.

In tegenstelling tot sommige andere symfonische metal bands, wordt het contrast tussen mannelijke en vrouwelijke vocalen niet uitgespeeld. Vanaf het eerste nummer wordt duidelijk dat er wordt gestreefd naar harmonie qua zang en ook qua muziek in het algemeen.

Mario Plank en Maxi Nil zijn duidelijk aan elkaar gewaagd. Beide stemmen versmelten en vormen één harmonieus geheel. Dat die harmonie niet per se staat voor monotonie wordt geïllustreerd door ‘Vicious Circle’. In dit nummer komt de stem van de zangeres beter tot haar recht. Maar wat vooral de aandacht trekt is de zeer mooie gitaarpartij.

In de ballad ‘Cave Behind The Waterfall’ trekt Maxi Nill alle registers open en wordt haar zangtalent ten volle duidelijk. De schijf bevat ook de nodige dosis bombast, wat vooral merkbaar is in de nummers zoals ‘Burden Of Divinity’ en ‘A.E.O.N. 19th’.

Conclusie

Adepten van symfonische metal kunnen hun hart ophalen. ‘Ethera’ is een zeer verdienstelijk album waar weinig op aan te merken valt. Zij het dat de beoogde harmonie heeft geleid tot een (te) uniforme plaat. De toetsenist van de band heeft gemeld dat Visions of Atlantis present zal zijn op de volgende editie van de Metal Female Voices Fest. Wie niet tot oktober kan wachten op de live versie van de nieuwe nummers, moet afzakken naar Brussel op 26 maart. Waar ze in het Magasin 4 het podium zullen delen met Serenity en Skeptical Minds.

Rating
7.5/10

Tracklist
01 The Arch
02 Machinage
03 Avatara
04 Vicious Circle
05 Hypnotized
06 Tlaluc’s Grace
07 Burden Of Divinity
08 Cave Behind The Waterfall
09 A.E.O.N. 19th
10 Bestiality vs. Integrity
11 Clerics Emotion

Website
http://www.visionsofatlantis.com/

Advertisements
Categories: CD reviews Tags:

Visions Of Atlantis – former singer Nicole Bogner passed away

Nicole Bogner, former singer from Visions Of Atlantis, passed away after fighting a long term disease. She sang on the first two albums of the band “Eternal Endless Infinity” (2002) and “Cast Away” (2004).

Official statement from Visions Of Atlantis, symphonic metalband from Austria: “In deep mourning and with highest respect we have to notify all fans that our former female singer, Nicole Bogner, has passed away at the age of 27 after fighting a severe disease over a long period of time.

The band is shocked about the loss of an old family member, but wants to express sincere gratitude to Nicole not only for five years of sharing a musical vision but also for more than a decade of friendship inside and outside the band.

Without Nicole, VOA would have never been born and her unique voice and personality were a big part of it. With Nicole, a great part of VOA died as well. We will always treasure your warm-hearted soul; you will never be forgotten,Nici.

All fans and followers are invited to join the In Memoriam Nicole Bogner-Page on Facebook to express their grief and respect to this great artist and person! Rest in Peace NICOLE and thank you! The VoA-family ”

The band will enter the studio later this year to release a new album in the spring. Creek singer Maxi Nill joined a few years ago as the new frontlady. In an interview with Musiccredo she reveals more details about their forthcoming album.

Categories: News Tags:

Visions Of Atlanis – Maxi Nil reveals more about their new sound

text: Gerianne Meijer
foto: Tim Tronckoe

Maxi Nil (ex-Elysion and On Thorns I Lay ) is the frontlady from Visions Of Atlantis, since their fourth album ‘Delta‘ (2010 Napalm Records. A new EP ‘Maria Magdalena‘ is just released. This symphonic, power metal band from Austria has a long history.

Formed in 2000, their debut released in 2002. After that many changes of singers and bandmembers followed. For example between the last two albums is a break of four years.

Then the Greek Maxi Nill becomes the new singer and stabilizes their sound. They toured with bands like Epica, and recently with Rhapsody of Fire.

An interesting conversation about the new EP, review in Dutch here on Muzikantenweb. Interviewer Gerianne Meijer describes changes to a more bombastic sound, the growth in vocals of Mario Plank and Maxi Nil and rates the new EP with a 7 out of 10.

Why did you decide to bring out ‘Maria Magdalena’ as an EP instead of waiting and bringing out a full album?

Maxi Nil: “Why wait? The next album will be released summer 2012 and the songwriting is already completed. So why not give our fans a few more songs to enjoy!”

Compared to ‘Delta’ the vocals on ‘Maria Magdalena’ have improved in my vision. Have you, and Mario Plank (male singer), done anything to make that happen?

Maxi: “Actually the EP was recorded with Delta at the same time, so I guess the songs of the EP reveal more of what we can do with our voices.”

What was the idea behind the more bombastic sound on the new EP?

Maxi: “First of all the guitars of the EP were recorded by our new guitar player Cris Tian. And this by itself gives a lot more to the powerful result we had on the EP. The drums were re-recorded as well and with the perfect mix we had this “bombastic sound” as you said and we all like it much more than the sound we had on ‘Delta’.

When will you start recording the new album?

Maxi Nil: “ In January and February 2012, so that is soon and then it will be released in the summer, like I mentioned.”

What can we expect, will the album be more bombastic too?

Maxi: “Of course! The point is always that we want to evolve as a band. And do the best you can. So believe me when I say that the next VoA album is going to blow your brains out!

On July 18, 2011, Bass player Mario Locher left the band and you are not planning on replacing him. How will you solve this live?

Maxi: “We have already played four shows without a bass player and using a sampler. It works just fine and we’re not willing to have a new member in the family, the less the better!

The last tour you did was in February of this year. Are there any plans for another one sometime soon?

Maxi: ” Well, 2011 was a year full of shows for us. Now it’s time to focus on the new album. So except of a few gigs that may show up, we don’t have a tour planned before our next release.

What is your favourite song to sing live?

Maxi Nil: “Hmmm that’s difficult to decide…I think ‘Last shut of your eyes’ and  ‘Memento.’ And ‘Reflection’  is my top 3 for now. To mention more than one.

How difficult is it for you to sing old material, that was not originally sung by you?

Maxi: “Actually it was very easy for me to adjust. Even though the songs were written for classical singers. But since the tones fit my voice and the melodies are amazing, I can easily make a song ‘my own’ and sing it in a more modern-rock way.”

  1. How involved are you in the writing process?

Maxi: “When I joined the band the album was already written, so the only thing I could ‘change’ was a few vocal lines. Now the next album will include two songs of mine and I will also work on the vocal lines of the other songs. I’m so happy about that!

More information about Visions of Atlantis on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/visionsofatlantisofficial and Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/visionsofatlantisofficial

Maxi

Categories: Interviews Tags:

Visions Of Atlantis – Maria Magdalena

tekst: Gerianne Meijer

band: Visions of Atlantis
album: Maria Magdalena
genre: Symphonic Metal
release: 21 oktober 2011
label: Napalm  Records

Visions of Atlantis bracht dit jaar nog hun laatste album ‘Delta’ uit, maar komt nu alweer met een mini-cd op de proppen. ‘Delta’ bevat aardige muziek, maar de zang van zowel frontvrouw Maxi Nil als frontman Mario Plank was niet altijd even passend. ‘Maria Magdalena’ schijnt meer bombast en orkestrale elementen te bevatten, benieuwd hoe de zang daarin uitkomt bij deze symfonische metal.

Opener ‘Maria Magdalena’ is een cover van de 80’s band Sandra. Dit nummer heeft een fijn, hard, bombastisch begin om vervolgens ruimte te laten voor de hoge stem van Nil. Het refrein bevat aardige samenzang tussen haar en Plank met wat ‘poppy’ zanglijnen, maar is helaas niet pakkend genoeg voor het aantal herhalingen wat in het nummer zit.

‘Melancholia’ begint met een rustige piano en de zang van Plank. Vervolgens voegt een harde gitaar in, samen met wat donkere arrangementen. Plank doet hard zijn best om zijn stem rockachtig  te laten klinken en dit lukt hem aardig. Het pre-refrein bevat wat lagere zang van Nil, wat ook best bevalt. Halverwege versnelt het nummer en ontstaat er samenzang tussen de zangers, die wat geforceerd overkomt. Zowel Plank als Nil zijn gegroeid, maar samen klinken ze niet altijd even optimaal.

‘Change of Tides’ begint lekker: hard en bombastisch met snelle arrangementen. Voor het eerst zit ik echt mee te tikken op de maat. De mooie vrouwelijke zanglijnen, brengt de kwaliteiten van Nil naar boven. Wat tevens opvalt zijn de snelle drums van Thomas Caser en de raggende gitaren van Cris Tian. Zeker een lekker nummer!

‘Distant Chores’ zet deze lijn helaas niet door. Met het nummer neemt de band weer een stapje terug, wat zonde is. Ook de zang zakt bij dit nummer helaas weer wat in.

‘Last Shut of your Eyes’ bevat een prachtige combinatie tussen gitaar en de piano van Martin Harb. Verrassend genoeg opent Plank met de zang en dit klinkt emotioneel en krachtig. Als Nil inzet is de rustig sfeer compleet. Haar stem klinkt zuiver en weet je te raken. Opeens wisselt het nummer van sfeer; er zet een raggende gitaar in en kom er een de versnelling.

Dit heeft helaas weer zijn effect op de zang. Plank is in de hogere regionen toch echt minder sterk. Ook voelt de samenzang weer geforceerd. Jammer, want het begin was zo sterk. Een prachtige solo van Cris Tian redt het geheel weer een beetje, maar dit nummer had naar mijn idee beter een ballad kunnen blijven.

Afsluiter ‘Beyond Horizon’ heeft een zweverige sfeer, met gefluister van Nil. De rustige zang van zowel Plank en Nil in combinatie met de piano en rustige drum is ook erg mooi. Een hoge uithaal van Nil, gevolgd door een gitaarsolo maken het nummer compleet.

Conclusie
Het is te horen dat zowel Nil als Plank qua zang gegroeid zijn, wat een groot pluspunt is. Tevens maakt de extra bombast de nummers pakkender. De kwaliteit is echter nog niet overal hetzelfde. Te hopen is dat de band de goede punten eruit weet te pakken voor het volgende album. Dan zal dat zeker de moeite waard zijn om te luisteren.

Rating
7/10

Website
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/visionsofatlantisofficial
Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/visionsofatlantisofficial

Categories: CD reviews Tags:

Visions Of Atlantis – Delta

tekst: Gerianne Meijer

band: Visions of Atlantis
album: Delta
genre: Symphonic Metal
release: 25 februari 2010
label: Napalm Records

De in 2000 opgerichte Visions of Atlantis is inmiddels toe aan hun vierde studioalbum genaamd ‘Delta.’ Er zit maar liefst vier jaar tussen deze nieuwste release en voorganger ‘Trinity’, mede omdat er een aantal veranderingen in de line-up noodzakelijk waren. Zo is zangeres Melissa Ferlaak vervangen door de Griekse Maxi Nil.

De Oostenrijkse band heeft mij persoonlijk nooit als fan kunnen werven, maar ze hebben zeker een paar goede nummers gemaakt. Ik ben benieuwd wat ‘Delta’ zal  brengen.

Opener ‘Black River Delta’ begint bombastisch en hard, met een opvallend hoge gitaar. De zang van beide vocalisten is even wennen en ik vind de combinatie van de zang en de muziek niet helemaal goed samenhangen. Dat komt waarschijnlijk doordat het nummer veel tempowisselingen heeft. Daardoor voelt het niet echt als één geheel. ‘New Dawn’ daarentegen is pakkender en laat fijne gitaarsolo’s horen van Werner Fiedler. Het nummer heeft een refrein op rijm, want live vast goed zal werken.

Twist of Fate’ laat horen dat Visions of Atlantis muzikaal zeker wat in hun mars hebben. De lange instrumentale intro heeft mooie arrangementen door Martin Harb, met  een ritmische drum vanThomas Caser en een pakkende gitaar. Hier zou ik graag meer van willen horen, maar zodra de zang begint zakt het nummer wat in. Zanger Maxi Nil heeft een prettige klank, maar kan naar mijn idee lang niet alle regionen aan. Mario Plank is naar mijn mening een middelmatige zanger en na een tijd begin ik me wat te ergeren aan zijn stem. Zonde, want de muziek ligt prima in het gehoor!

Conclusie
Dit gevoel hou ik het hele album lang. Het is te horen dat iedereen ontzettend zijn best heeft gedaan en muzikaal zitten er goede stukken tussen, met name gitaar en drum, maar de zang is niet goed genoeg om geboeid te blijven luisteren. Dit is natuurlijk een zeer persoonlijke mening en ik kan me goed voorstellen dat er genoeg mensen zijn die hier geen last van hebben. Helaas moet ik toch concluderen dat Visions Of Atlantis er geen fan bij heeft.

Rating
6/10

Website
http://www.myspace.com/visionsofatlantisofficial

Categories: CD reviews Tags:

Metal Female Voices Fest VIII – first day with Arch Enemy, ReVamp, Tristania and more.

tekst: Silviapd
photo: Moon In Virgo

Metal Female Voices Fest VIII
Saturday 23th October 2010
Arch Enemy, Revamp, Krypteria, Tristania, Dylath-Leen, Visions Of Atlantis, Skeptical Minds and more .

Over the years Metal Female Voices Fest (MFVF) is grown into a very professional and unique brand with a simple format. Every band with female vocals and a passion for metal can deserve a place on the line-up of the Belgium festival.

This year there is for the first time a ‘ MFVF Roadshow’, in combination with Dokkem’ Open Air. MFVF is such an important factor in keeping gothic metal alive. Unfortunately Dejafuse had to cancel their openings act on he Sunday, but with Ram-zet, Leaves’ Eyes and a special ‘ Phantom Agony’ show of Epica there is a lot to discover. What follows is a special festival report from the Saturday.

Skeptical Minds is one of the bands on the warm up tour and a familiar face on stage. With their new album ‘Skepticalized’ released on this festival day, three years of hard work has reached its goal. A mature album with many familiar songs, also with a surprising twist (cello’s are involved).

Unfortunately logistical problems are the cause of my arrival at the end of their set. Just in time to see the energy boost from vocalist Karolina Pacan. In December they return to Belgium with an own show. They have a special sound and potential, so it is worth to check that out!

The festival changed more and more into a multi-media project with video screens on the side of the stage, and the entourage is also bigger than before. For the first time the merchandise is moved to the back of the hall. Also on the left side there is a corner with tables and chairs to sit down for a while. Finally after years there is a chance to sit down, because it is a long day for sure.

Near the backstage area there is a corner for the autograph sessions, organized by Rock Tribune, and that is a pretty crowded place the whole day. It is a big success, especially because Doro Pesch came over to say hello to the fans.

MFVF is an international meeting point for metal fans all over the world, and it is an important element of the atmosphere that day. Everyone is excited and when the Austrian Visions Of Atlantis enters the stage, I have a nice reunion with friends over the border; from Belgium, France, Canada and Germany they are all gathered for this same event. That makes it also very special and hart warming to be here.

The line-up is drastically changed and new female vocalist Maxi Nil is a real talent. She has expressive Greek blood, and that makes her movements exotic. I have the feeling she has more potential to grow into a dynamic performance, but she needs some time to get moreexperience on that level.

Her voice is very clear and high, but also has a lot of power in the low layers, personally I like that combination a lot. It makes her different and it gives the crowd something more than soprano songs.

Also the duet with he male singer Mario Plank, is a trademark. The sound changed from power metal into a more symphonic sound, with heavy guitars and more drums.  Like on ‘ Though My Eyes’ and ‘The Secret’ with melodic piano.

A very convincing show, that rises above my expectations. It is a real energy boost for a band that struggled for three years with line-up changes. The band made a strong entrance and won the crowd during the set. New album is in the making.

Then there is Dylath-Leen, also a band from the Roadshow concerts and I know they are capable to blow you away with their strong technical metal music. A refreshing sound with groovy guitars and a female grunter on stage.

Personally I like them more than the headliner of today, because they show a lot of energy and even the bands backstage are totally surprised by their sound. When even colleagues are curious, then there is not only potential to grow, but then there is a real talent awoken. On the new song ’ Forever Still’ Kathy Coupez shows a lot of power, suddenly she switches to a fragile clean voice and a well-deserved feedback from the crowd is the result of an intense show.

Norwegian band Tristania returns in a different shape in compare of 2006, with a new line-up and album. It is the last show from their Rubicon tour and a real highlight of the day. Not only because the members are very charming and kind, also the feedback from the crowd is really surprising and heart warming after all those years.

For the first time the whole venue is packed and excited. The setlist contains many new songs, with a glance role for Mariangela Demutras in duet with Kjetil Nordhus, the new male vocalist well known from Green Carnation.

Opener ’ Year Of The Rat’ is a catchy song and gets a good response from the audience, during the set the energy grows more and more. Also ‘Protection’ shows a strong convincing band, with participation from all the members.

People start to scream when ‘Tender Trip On Earth’ sets in and it feels like Tristania is back stronger, filled with passion like it always belonged this way. It is hard to describe how natural and mature the show is, and an important element is the natural charisma of Mariangela; a real eye-catcher and a singer with a wide spectrum of voice techniques.

On the older songs she shows her bombastic side, what perfectly fits to the original melodies. On the new songs she dares to be more powerful, like on the encore ‘Exile.’ She transforms it all in a very interesting adventure, and with very capable musicians on her side it is an adrenaline growing experience.

Kjetil Nordhus suffers from a flue, and his voice is softer to spare the energy till his glance role on ‘ Shadowman.’  With his calm, deep and very melodic voice he is an important element of Tristania and he grabs the attention well deserved.

Also the combination of his acoustic guitars together with grunter and guitarist Anders is a dynamic interaction. In the back, more hidden behind the drum kit, there is Tarald Junior exploding in energy; every song he is given two hundred percent and from the side of the stage it really awakes a dynamic vibe. The ensemble of voices from all the Norwegian members makes you shiver like on ‘Amnesia.’

Even the cynical gothic fans have to admit is a beautiful composition,  representing everything what makes this band so unique. The classical roots, bombastic voices and very catchy melodies it is all there and the crowd loves it.

On every level Tristania proves today that they are back and still have a lot of fans appreciating what they do. A new audience had the chance to get enchanted by the beautiful harmony of voices, and with old and news songs the band is back on top level of this scene. That is a more than convincing outcome of this tour.

Krypteria is a rising star, and frankly I never understood the special element besides the bombastic performance. This time no wedding dress or rosebuds, but a natural performance from the front lady Ji-In Cho. Their rock songs are very catchy like ’ Shoot Me’ and you hardly can call it metal, besides the wall of guitars.

The bass sound is very loud; now and then you can’t hear the clean high parts. A fragile side of Cho on ‘ The Promise’ where she demands a lot from herself. For the real fans an interesting set with many new songs. It is better to hear them on a club tour when they have more time to warm up.

ReVamp is the first headliner of the evening and for 75 minutes a lot of power is blowing away the audience, a diva is showing her strength again.

Last year she announced her comeback and today Floor Jansen is back where she belongs: on top of the gothic metal scene.

Step by step the formation around her is growing and the tour with Epica is a step stone for further success.  ‘Kill Me With Silence’ is a perfect mixture between Eastern elements, catchy guitars and the recognizable strong voice of the longest lady in the room.

The roots from After Forever aren’t forgotten and for some fans is it a disappointment that Floor didn’t choose to discover new roads, because she is capable of doing everything she wants. On the other hand the real metal fans can be very satisfied, every song is filled with power and technical challenges created by Floor Jansen.

The debut album  ‘Revamp’ is well produced, but on stage the diva adds an extra element to enchant you. Again the sound is too loud, what makes the guitars and bass a bit raw and too much all the time.It disturbs the perfect performance from Floor and honestly, she is the real eye-catcher of the show.

Simone Simons makes her entrance on ‘Sweet Curse‘ and in combination with Floor, it brings the show to a grand experience. And it continues on the piano version of ‘ I Lost Myself ’ a peaceful moment after the powerful vibe, with a respectful silence from the audience. It reached a beautiful peak during the aria from

Puccini‘O Mio Babbino Caro’ dedicated to the Italian fans in the crowd. This is Floor in her best environment and it doesn’t reach the level of Maria Callas, but she is close in her interpretation.

She immediately switches to a powerful song with heavy grunts and uprising guitars, the contrast is strong but brings back the energy. ‘ Energize Me’ is an other surprise and it after that everyone knows who the real headliner of today will be.

Arch Enemy makes a heavy entrée as always, after a long changeover and break for the audience. It is a real puzzle why Angela Gossow takes her time, but that is probably a part of the schedule. Maybe it is because many fans are tired of this long day. When the intro sets in, the energy is back and people start to scream: they are ready for the heaviest show of today.

My Immortal’ and ‘ Taking Back My Soul’ are filled with Swedish metal, catchy and dark at the same time. If you like it or not, Arch Enemy knows how to present their format of rising grunts and uptempo guitars.

It is a real new approach of female metal, the melody is more complex and not always easy to follow. For the real fans in the front it is a show with many highlights. The hit ‘Dead Eyes See No Future’ are a nice wink to the black stripes under Angela’s eyes.

She looks fragile with her blond hair, but she screams her longs out. A little break for her during the excellent guitar solo from Michael Amott. He is a bit distant on stage, but totally focussed on the good timing and finger fast parts. ‘ We Will Rise’ and ‘ Fields Of Desolation’ are creating a dynamical second half of the set, then it is finally over.

Metal Female Voices 2010 is again a day with many highlights, new discovered bands and a social happening in the front and the back of the stage. The social aspect is as important as the excellent performances today. Nice memories are formed and already new bands are announced for the new edition, write it down on your calendar because you can’t miss this spectacle!

There is special  discount if you order your 2011-ticket in December: http://www.metalfemalevoicesfest.be/