At The Back Of Beyond

The Secret

Passing Dead End

The Poem 

Nothing Left

My Dark Side Home         

Wing-shaped Heart

Return To You

Through My Eyes

Flow This Desert

Seven Seas

 


 

 


Melissa Ferlaak Ė Vocals
Mario Plank Ė Vocals
Martin Harb Ė Synthesizer
Wolfgang K. Ė Guitars
Mike Koren Ė Bass
Thomas Caser Ė Drums



VISIONS OF ATLANTIS: "Trinity"    visions of atlantis              

artwork by Anthony Clarrksson
"
Delta
Interview with Melissa Ferlaak - 2007
Cast Away

  


preview-review  by Matthew "Newbreed99" Haumschild___                            

release date: May 25th 2007 (EU) -  June 5th 2007 (US)


Is it just me or does it look just stunning?

 

        This 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 , http://www.gryphonmetal.ch/LacunaCoilDFD.html , http://www.gryphonmetal.ch/AesmaDaeva.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 something.   

        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.

        I 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.

        Audio quality:

        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?

 

rating: 9/10

 

Matthew Haumschild   04.05.2007 


 

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