Music Review-Visions of Atlantis-Ethera


Track Listing:

1. The Ark
2. Machinage
3. Avatara
4. Vicious Circle
5. Hypnotized
6. Tlaloc´s Grace
7. Burden Of Divinity
8. Cave Behind The Waterfall
9. A.E.O.N. 19th
10. Bestiality vs. Integrity
11. Clerics Emotion

– Thomas Caser / Drums
– Mario Plank / Vocals
– Martin Harb / Keyboards
– Maxi Nil / Vocals
– Cris Tían / Guitars

Review-Visions of Atlantis is a band that has been around since early 2000, while their music has reached a underground following, the band’s internal struggles are what people know this band the most for. Last year lead singer Nicole Bogner passed away and here we are a year later with the band forging ahead with this release. Ethera while it is possibly the best cd they have released in a while, do not read into that more than face value because if you are familiar with this band and their sound, you know their sound in the last few releases were nothing to brag about. To me, after Cast Away this band seemed to lose its edge and identity, and just sounded like every other band doing this symphonic power metal with the dual male/female vocals. This is a band that has had ten band member changes in its existence, and for any band that is a lot to deal with. Like their last cd Delta, this just sounds like a band who is not sure of itself or its sound, and is willing to throw anything out to try and see if people will buy into and support it. Maxi Nil who fronted Elysion and done some background stuff for Moonspell is back again after the less than stellar last outing Delta, while I am a big fan of Maxi and when I heard the news of Nightwish having issues with Annette, she was who I thought would be the frontrunner given that she has so much respect for her past work.

Then you have Mario Plank and his one dimensional vocals, the man has some decent vocal chops, but his range and delivery at times just sounds lacking when you put him against Maxi, and what she brings. To me, and no offense this is the best female vocalist they have had in the band yet but yet she is under the poor delivery of Mario. The band on this cd, from Roland on drums, and Cris on guitars just really try to play within the lines of this style of metal, and offer nothing outside the lines and nothing to give them an identity. I was hoping for something to really make this cd stand out and set it apart for the band, but it just sounds like more of the same with maybe a few decent songs more than we are accustomed to. Maxi’s duets and solo vocals are the only selling point to this cd, Plank’s solo delivery and lack of emotional range are what is really hurting this band and most importantly limit them to underground status. The band has a secret weapon with a female with a proven track record who can deliver on vocals and you got her playing second banana to a singer who has held the band down with his unwillingness to take second chair to someone who can help raise awareness to the band.

This cd also has more of a keyboard presence which really was good for the band, I just wish the rest of the band players would have experimented more and complimented this. The music on this cd, take away Maxi’s vocals and what she brings to this cd and maybe the keyboard touches, it is just more of the same we are used to as fans. This just puzzles me, I always thought the steps of a band or musician is to get noticed, to evolve and then to make a career defining cd. This band seems stuck in the get noticed stage and after 13 years that is not the place to be, you have to evolve your sound and create that cd to cement your name to, and this band I am afraid will never get to step two and if something happens and they lose Maxi, this band may as well call it a day.

4 out of 10