Once again the tenet that aspire Visions Of Atlantis to record every album with a different line-up continues. I am not sure if this is something they do on purpose or just bad luck. In any case though, “Ethera” is the band’s latest release through Napalm Records.

etheravoaVisions Of Atlantis formed in 2000, so you could say they are veterans in the symphonic metal scene although some may disagree due to the numerous line-up changes. However with “Ethera” being their fifth studio album, it becomes clear that the band has established it’s name and fan base.

So, what’s different in “Ethera“? Well, for starters they have a new guitar player and, secondly, this is their only album without an official bass player. Musically speaking it seems as if Visions Of Atlantis are drifting away from their early Power metal style and position themselves into more modern sound avenues.

No worries though. They still use some Symphonic components in their music. Just enough to fit in the category, to be honest. Without a doubt the vocal performances of Maxi Nil and Mario Plank is the highlight of this record. Especially Maxi, she demonstrates her prevailing voice while minimizing her operatic style vocals, and that really sets the vibe for the entire album. New guitar player Chris Tian does his part very well without being overpowering, which is something that I like.

There are a few moments in which Martin Harb‘s talent sparkles, although I personally wish for more prominent keyboard lines in this album. But, that’s just me. Drums and bass sounds tight, nourishing the entire sound and production. No complaints here. However, I do have a complaint and that’s regarding the songwriting. Unfortunately it’s not as strong as I was expecting. I am not saying it’s bad, I just believe it could have been better. After listening to “Ethera” for weeks (hence the late review), I still can’t find that one great song, that one amazing guitar solo or that one glorious melody that will stuck in my head and I will remember forever.

If you ask me today, “is this their best album?” I will have to say “I am sorry, no”. It’s a good album with a good production and descent songs but, they are not going to leave their mark in music history with it. That’s a shame because they do have everything on their hands to accomplish that. They are all very talented and great musicians who – if you ask me – are trying to find their new identity as a band. Eventually when they do find it, they will be amazing. As long as they stop replacing members with each release!

Some of the songs worth listing to are “Hypnotized“, “Avatara“, “A.E.O.N. 19th“, “Burden Of Divinity” and “Machinage“. You may not listen to this album with such passion and care after many years – but a few songs will catch your interest and remain worthwhile for long periods of time. In overall, an interesting and pleasant album with some great moments and good vocal lines but somehow it misses it’s target having little to no variety.

RATING: 6.5 / 10

Ethera” – Track list:

01. The Ark
02. Machinage
03. Avatara
04. Vicious Circle
05. Hypnotized
06. Tlaluc’s Grace
07. Burden Of Divinity
08. Cave Behind The Waterfall
09. A.E.O.N. 19th
10. Bestiality vs. Integrity
11. Clerics Emotion

Visions Of Atlantis is:

Maxi Nil – Vocals
Mario Plank – Vocals
Cris Tian – Guitars
Martin Harb – Keyboard
Thomas Caser – Drums



About Metal Divas

Posted on June 5, 2013, in Reviews and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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