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Vanden Plas: The Ghost Xperiment - Illumination
Vanden Plas - The Ghost Xperiment - Illumination Album Art

Vanden Plas: The Ghost Xperiment ...

Progressive Power Metal
4.5/5.0

Do you believe in ghosts? Perhaps the idea of contacting and conversing with dead spirits? Vanden Plas vocalist and writer Andy Kuntz wants you to think so. Developed from the parapsychology Philip Experiment from 1972 in Toronto, Kuntz has written his own ghost story. The Ghost Xperiment - Awakening arrived some 14 months ago, telling the story of Gideon Grace and his ghostly encounters. Now, Kuntz brings his tale to a conclusion with The Ghost Xperiment - Illumination. The premise and story is a bit complex, and I don't have access to the lyrics. But I can supply you with a summary of The Ghost Xperiment story provided by Frontiers Music.

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Vanden Plas

Now that you've read about the story, it's time to consider the music. As long time fans know, Vanden Plas offers listeners progressive power metal that can seem complex, but is always intriguing and entertaining. The song canvas is musically dense with commanding riffage, speed and groove from the rhythm section, lush and symphonic synths, and compelling guitar and synth solos. The latter two generally arrive in the second half of an arrangement and finish a song. You'll hear these things within most songs, but the tandem guitar and synth solos loom large within The Lonely Psychogon, Fatal Arcadia, and more subtlety within When The World Is Falling Down. But the most intriguing and "progish" song is the 13 minute The Ouroboros. The simple structure is a juxtaposition of a lighter vocal first half and emerging heavier second half. But the latter half sways between dense, heavy punches of riffs and rhythm section, light vocal breakdowns, and more tag team synth and guitar solos. The whole song is large and lush, commanding and quite entertaining. It deserves a few spins. But all this prog power extravagance wanes with the closing song, The Ghost Engineers, which is essentially Kuntz' vocals over piano and synths. With these comments, I've merely observed the tip of the iceberg. With The Ghost Xperiment - Illumination there's much more to explore and enjoy. I leave that to you, the faithful reader and listener.

With The Ghost Xperiment - Illumination Vanden Plas once more proves that progressive power metal can align great storytelling with intriguing and entertaining song craftsmanship. Easily recommended.




CraigHartranft.net - New fiction, crime fiction by Craig Hartranft

The Bottom Line

With The Ghost Xperiment - Illumination Vanden Plas once more proves that progressive power metal can align great storytelling with intriguing and entertaining song craftsmanship. Easily recommended.

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