(31 July 2005) Visions of Atlantis is a young Austrian progressive metal band riding the wave of symphonic material with soaring female vocals. With both male and female singers, this band has quickly carved a name for themselves with metal fans all over the world. While the band's sound is definitely reminiscent of Edenbridge, Evanescence and Nightwish, they have managed to blend in some surprising elements that help to make their sound unique.
Visions of Atlantis album Cast Away (Napalm Records (USA) NPR152, 2004) is a collection of nine tracks and a bonus track. The band's label is also home to Atrocity, Leave's Eyes, Draconian and Darkwell. Cast Away has been receiving rave reviews. We had the chance to catch up with vocalist Nicole Bogner in this interview to find out more about the band and their new album.--Mark Fisher in West Virginia
Like Nightwish, Visions of Atlantis plays a melodic version of romantic symphonic metal. Most of the songs are medium tempo, but they range from mellow ballads like
"Winternight" all the way to bombastic, like "Realm of Fantasy." The band include a range of material between these extremes as well.
Critically speaking, the album is rather brief, coming in at barely forty minutes. We were left longing for more. Unlike Nightwish, Visions of Atlantis' vocals a mix male singer Mario Plank with the female vocalist Nicole Bogner. The two contribute to every song, except the ballad "Winternight" that Nicole sings alone. With the blend of male and female vocals
Visions of Atlantis are perhaps more comparable to Lacuna Coil or Evanescence--although their sound is definitely Nightwish.
Nicole Bogner is a great young vocalist with significant promise, but she has not yet reached the heights of Nightwish's Tarja Turunen, Epica's Simone Simons or Sharon den Adel of Within Temptation. She has a young soprano voice, not unlike Turunen during her early days, but Nicole still struggles to hit some of the higher notes. Mario Plank's parts are sung rather than grunted or screamed. A plus in this style of music.
The album's standouts are "Send Me a Light," "Lost" and "State of Suspense." "Send me a Light" is a variable paced number with a catchy melody. It starts with Nicole singing the verses and Plank sing/talking the choruses. "Lost" is a symphonic number which is very accessible. Plank leads with Nicole singing a prominent but secondary part. The lyrically strong material is supported by a radio friendly melody. There is a supporting video for the song.
"State of Suspense" starts a little out of character with a electronic beginning but quickly goes back to the symphonic feel. A fairly extravagant song beginning with Plank's vocals, he is surpassed by Nicole's strong vocals. Another catchy song with a few hooks as well.
Clearly if the band had matured to the stage of Nightwish, Cast Away would be an even more incredible album.
Not that Visions of Atlantis could take the place of Nightwish or Within Temptation for that matter, but this band shows incredible promise. Let's see how they do with their next album.