Visions Of Atlantis – “The Deep & The Dark Live @ Symphonic Metal Nights” (Napalm Records)
Battle Helm Rating
In what is probably their finest moment, Visions Of Atlantis have released this stupendous release – actually their first live record – and the energy coming off it is unbelievable, not just from the band and audience, but possibly anyone listening to it too! Capturing one of those special moments in time and space, all the alignments were clearly right and I’m so glad for the band given that it was only 5 years ago that the entire line up left, leaving only founding member Thomas Caser on drums, who has my absolute admiration for his bravery in soldiering on to put this new group together – and what a line up it is too! With the crowd roaring on, you can only marvel at the incredible vocals of soprano singer Clémentine Delauney, whose moving soul and undeniably passion glides across the music made all the more lush by the stirring backing orchestrals, touching piano and atmospheric keyboards. She certainly doesn’t lack any fire too and when joined by dual male vocalist Siegfried Samer, with whom she co wrote the lyrics on the band’s 6th studio release, they form an obvious bond and certainly get the already pumped audience going into overdrive with plenty of rapport and interaction – fantastic. Sadly Samer has since left the band, but boy has he gone out on a high note here in Vienna on the last date of this unforgettable tour! Simply oozing with symphony and melodic majesty, the new material, which has an old school touch, resonates through songs like ‘The Deep & The Dark’ with its contrasts of touching piano and heavy drums while its suave grooves and ultra catchy melodies are simply impossible not to sing along to. Then there’s my album favourite of ‘Return To Lemuria’ with its double bass drumming and powerful guitars tempered by the stunningly soulful vocals and soaring harmonies, all to a catchy folk melody that long remains in the mind and heart. Unafraid to take on the band’s earlier material, they take on ‘New Dawn’ from 2011’s “Delta” album, with the crowd chanting on as Delauney’s vocal charms simply flow as Samer soars and roars straight into your soul as the keyboard pumps even more bliss into your heart. Going back even further to Visions Of Atlantis’s sophomore in 2004’s “Cast Away”, the musicianship on ‘Lost’ had me in little doubt as to the capability of this line up as they rocked in the stirring passion of the song, propelled by both Delauney’s soprano and Samer’s passion with Christian Douscha’s exquisite guitar providing just the right amount of crunch to make you realise you should’ve been there that night. What a performance, I can see why this became a live album and commands me to catch Visions Of Atlantis live again!