The Back Of Beyond
Dark Side Home
Ferlaak Ė Vocals
VISIONS OF ATLANTIS: "Trinity"
artwork by Anthony Clarrksson
preview-review by Matthew "Newbreed99" Haumschild___
release date: May 25th 2007 (EU) - June 5th 2007 (US)
it just me or does
it look just stunning?
was another CD on my list that was a long time coming. I had been
waiting to hear more on this album now since last year. To be honest, I
wanted to hear more of Melissa Ferlaak. Most Visions of Atlantis fans
havenít heard too much from her. However, I seen her more than a few
times when she sang for Aesma Daeva, a local band from Minneapolis (http://www.gryphonmetal.ch/NightwishMinneapolis.html
). She isnít limited to just metal bands, she has done bonefide opera
work such as ďLa BohemeĒ ect. (soprano) . And believe me, sheís
the real deal. Also in 2005, the band went through quite the overhaul
where as not only the singer was replaced, but the guitar player and
keyboard player were replaced as well! Itís almost a new band at that
point. Since I had only heard two or three songs prior to this CD, I am
treating this band like a new band although they have three CDís under
their belt. Because when you change those elements, itís extremely
hard to stay consistent with the former sound because literally, half
the band was replaced and that half where lead players. Itís like if
Metallica got rid of Kirk Hammet and James Hetfield decided he was only
going to sing, it wouldnít be the same band anymore. Although, I will
say this: The bandís sound on this CD is consistent if not better than
what I have heard so far.
At The Back Of Beyond
can be heard on VOAís myspace site although the albums version is
different than the demo that is listed. Matter of fact, they fixed my
only complaint on that song on their myspace site which was the intro.
On the album, the intro was a little too long, if it was chopped to
where just before the drums came in, it would be perfect. At that point,
the songís beginning would remind me, of all things, of the song,
ďEmbody The InvisibleĒ by In Flames. Iím probably going to be the
only one to point that out but if you listen closely and do a
comparison, it would sound similar and it would have given the album a
slightly different feel to it out from the gates.
The track is heavy,
itís rocking, itís power metal with an attitude. I found myself
going 75mph in a 55mph zone having this song blasting in my car! The
drums sound just perfect for this song! What I like most about this
track is that the chorus is very memorable. Ferlaak almost sings it as
if itís a lullaby but the tempo is much faster than that and it works
just wonderfully. Mario Plankís contributions to this track to also
sound quite good as well; however I think that the two singers sound
completely different from each other. Plankís singing is smooth and
itís dead on, I have no complaints on it, it just has a completely
different tone from Ferlaakís, it seems like an odd combination, but
for this song it works.
Passing Dead End
doesnít sound like anyone or any other specific song Iíve heard, but
had I never heard of this band, I could tell that the band was from
Europe. It has a constant kick drum going nearly 75% of the song, itís
nearly monotonous but it works for the song. Also in the track, features
more of a duet between Ferlaak and Plank. Itís a mid paced song where
if you listen to it enough you sing along to it. The keyboards are all
quite noticeable in this song as well and help shape itís final form.
There is also an excellent guitar solo in this song that is well worth
listening to. Itís not a song that one could rock out to or anything,
but itís a good song to put on if one was playing video games or
The Poem is all about
Plankís singing ability. My original assessment still stands. Heís
smooth, precise, and he sounds great. In this song however, it sounds
like a symphonic-metal band trying to play an 80ís pop song. Not that
it sounds bad or anything because it broadens the bands horizons. This
song proves to me what the band can do.
was a little shocked when I started listening to Nothing Left. The intro sounded like something Entwine would have
done. IT starts out fast, then once the singing starts in, it slows
down. After about 30 seconds, the chorus kicks in to this catchy
keyboard, guitar, and drumbeat that got me banging my head again. The
chorus lyrics are also catchy too, or at least the line and how itís
sung, ďItís raining.Ē This is my second favourite track on the CD
and I highly recommend everyone to listen to it.
Through My Eyes starts
off sounding very dark and when the vocals kick in, the combination of
both Ferlaak and Plank make it dive deeper in to darkness and itís
just so brilliant! Iíve heard other bands do this same thing only
without a male singer like Xandria but VOA made this perfect! I
envisioned a downward spiral listening to this track even when it goes
slightly upbeat a minute into this song. The guitars are much heavier in
this track, possibly because the guitar player is playing mostly in e or
e flat (I could be wrong on the note)
for the rhythm parts, which is typical for most metal bands. I
really like the arrangements in this song, I thought all the parts were
put together just right. It has the right about of everything
incorporated in this track.
Although this is just another song that has pro-tools written all
over it, I must say that whomever owned the studio where they recorded
in, must have made some upgrades because I can feel the low end on this
disc. When I had this CD cranked in my home theater, each time the
drummer would utilize his kick drum where heís playing ďdouble
bassĒ I could feel it. Where as other recordings I have where the band
was recorded via pro-tools, I couldnít feel it at all. The mix was
nearly perfect, I know this is a common thing for me, but I couldnít
hear the bass guitar at all. I heard more rhythm guitar than I heard
bass. Otherwise, everything was perfect. Both singers couldnít have
sounded better, the guitar sound was perfect and the drumsÖI could
hear each one perfectly and it was mixed perfectly although my gut is
telling me he used triggers though I canít prove it without asking.
Not that thereís anything wrong with using triggers itís just less
work for the engineer to do which ultimately saves the band money. I
could be wrong too.
Overall, I liked the CD. I was quite surprised actually, I
didnít think I was going to like it this much. I was halfway expecting
a Nightwish clone and that wasnít the case at all. I donít think
this band sounds anything like that band. If I had to compare this band
to any other band I would compare them to the likes of Xandria and Epica.
I would also like to comment on the CD coverÖis it just me or does it
look just stunning?
Matthew Haumschild 04.05.2007
PO Box 137 - CH 5443 Niederrohrdorf
Postfach 201367 - D Waldshut- Tiengen