Friday, 30 December 2011

Review: VISIONS OF ATLANTIS - “MARIA MAGDALENA E.P.”



(Considering the number of music reviews by me that see the light of day in the press, I thought I should start posting more of them here. Let's get started)

Visions of Atlantis have been gaining something of a notable following this past year or so, and I'm not quite sure why, to be honest. I'd heard them a few years back, when they were still cloning Nightwish note-for-note, and hadn't thought much else about them until recently. Now the band seems to be getting far more press than symphonic metal bands tend to of late, and I thought it was time to check out what the fuss was about.

This latest release is a 6 track E.P. built up from the title track, a cover of a song originally by pop singer Sandra. That first track is a great cover, and fits the band's metallic blueprint of soaring dual vocals and chunky riffs very well.

The problem is, once you're past that track, the rest is all rather similar. The guitars sound like Nightwish, Epica, Sirenia and Tristania throughout the disc, and a mostly clearly recorded directly into a computer rather than via amps, as they have a curiously flat sound.

The songs are sadly rather standard symphonic metal, but the fact that the male vocals are sung rather than growled wins the band major points with me, as I'm sick to death of grunted vocals over otherwise uplifting songs. Perhaps this was the wrong release for me to pick up as a way to get acquainted with them, but heck, it was cheap on iTunes and I'd heard good things about the band (I really hope those good things aren't just based on how pretty current vocalist Maxi Nil is) . It's okay, but definitely just a stop-gap release.

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