Visions of Atlantis ~ Delta (Napalm Records)
Released: March 15, 2011
Hailing from Styria, Austria, Visions of Atlantis (VoA) was formed in 2000 and fall into the Nightwish, Sirenia mold of symphonic power metal. They feature both male and female vocals.
Last week the sextet returned with their fourth full length album, Delta. You can toss about all the usual adjectives to describe the band’s sound on the album: epic, sweeping, atmospheric. They all fit. The album forges a grand path filled with emotive ballads, uptempo rockers, and waves of melody crashing upon the ear, before rising up on soaring vocals to lift the spirit.
While this is the band’s fourth effort, they may as well be releasing their debut here. Only drummer Thomas Caser has been in the band since it’s founding. Original guitarist Werner Fiedler has returned to the fold as well, but over the course of a decade the rest of the line-up has been in a constant state of revolution or evolution, depending on your viewpoint.
With Delta the band VoA has added new bassist Mario Lochert along with their fourth female vocalist. This time the band tapped the talents of On Thorns I Lay vocalist Maxi Nil. Nil brings in multi-instrumental abilities, and a voice that blends quite well with male vocalist Mario Plank. For his part Plank brings an edgier feel on this record.
The band, which began as, and is still often considered, a Nightwish clone, has grown significantly over the four records they’ve created. Delta represents their most complete and majestic offering so far. Still, Delta is a stepping stone.
If Maxi sticks, her sonic chemistry with Mario should continue to flourish and the band will continue to make strides. It goes without saying, though clearly I am, that the band’s constant flux, especially at vocals, has hurt their continuity and progress.
As a whole the album is a solid listen with all the elements of symphonic power metal we’ve come to love. At times over the top, even bombastic, while at other times deeply sweet and poignant. The band even manages a radio accessible number in the form of “New Dawn”, which is not representative of the record as a whole, but a guilty pleasure none-the-less.
Visions of Atlantis have yet to create their signature work, but Delta is a good foot forward.