The Ghost Xperiment - Illumination

Anmeldt av Jens Nepper
(Frontiers Records, 2020)

Karakter: 5/6

VANDEN PLAS album cover.jpgThe renowned German progressive metal act Vanden Plas recently released this follow-up to 2019's "The Ghost Xperiment - Awakening" and this latest offering of theirs appropriately named "The Ghost Xperiment - Illumination" might just be one of the most accessible outputs of theirs yet.

"The Ghost Xperiment - Illumination" is a dense record with tons of details and it is packed with interesting ideas and suitably dramatic for my taste, but it is also quite memorable and contains several outstanding guitar and vocal hooks that will linger in the back of your head for hours after having stopped listening to the disc. The epic nature of the melodies and the dark vibe of the album are instantly appealing and compositions such as the melancholy "The Lonely Psychogon", the semi-punishing "Fatal Arcadia", and the moving ballad "Ghost Engineers" are as cohesive and fascinating as they are irresistible and seductively bleak. The only negative aspect of the LP is that the vocals occasionally miss the mark and fail to complement the music sufficiently.

There is an orchestral feel to this musically imaginative piece of work and for some reason I find it a great entry and a breath of fresh air in the Vanden Plas discography. The production is superb and there is hardly any need to point out just how formidable the musicianship is, so let me wrap this neat little review of mine up by stating that "The Ghost Xperiment - Illumination" is a beguiling and enigmatic album filled with impressive riffs and blissful melodies. The whole affair is by no means unnecessarily convoluted or without purpose but instead a sophisticated and substantial force of progressive metal power.


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