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The Austrian band Visions of Atlantis serves symphonic power metal. I didn't know the band's music, but I "had heard the name". I'm familiar with the genre and occasionally I can enjoy some of the really cheesy stuff it sometimes produces (Rhapsody of Fire! Nightwish!). Now how does Delta sound?
The band uses both a male and a female vocalist. No singer/guitarist as other bands tend to have, but two full time singers. That could create some very interesting vocal interaction, but does this interaction actually happen? Yes, and no. During some songs she does most of the singing (Reflection), during some other songs he does most of the singing (Conquest of Others) and some songs have both of them singing with equal importance, but nearly never really together. What I like to hear in mixed gender vocals are "dialogues", with both singers alternating. That doesn't really happen on this album and is a missed chance. The chorus of Elegy of Existence hears this but it's over before you really realize it happened. What we do have is for example Twist of Fate: he sings and she can be heard on the background. In the chorus they do sing the same lines, but it's not quite the same as what I really like. Both he and she know how to control their voice: there are no false notes although I had to get used to the male vocals. Too bad they didn't do something really interesting...
The instrumental part of the music is good, but you've heard it all before. After five songs it feels like you've heard the entire album. Bad thing? Not really: the songs are good quality and something really bad can not be found on the album. There is a ballad, which seems obligatory for any album in the genre and its not really overwhelming. Reflection turns out to be a stereotype ballad: it begins with only female vocals and piano/keyboard. After a while the drums join in and the song gains a little power. Halfway through the song there is a short guitarsolo and the picture is complete. A ballad following the ancient recipe. Bad? No, but not my cup of tea.
The other songs do contain the guitars that we as metalfans all love. Black River Delta is a great opener: it begins with a few keyboard lines, and then the guitars and fast drums kick in. Ha, got to love it! It sounds a little epic, not in the least because of the Alladin-like keyboard melody that you can hear at some points. This presence of keyboards makes the music sound a little bigger, and is an important part of the music's character.
Delta is not a modest album: symphonic metal means big and bombastic! The song vary between fast and slow ones, like the slower Memento following the fast opener. These changes ensure you don't listen to the same song over and over again.
Lots of really catchy riffs and melodies you won't find on Delta, but fans of female fronted/symphonic power metal will appreciate this album. The main reason I didn't give the album a higher reason is the absence of some really interesting male/female vocal interaction.
Originaly written in Dutch for Ashladan.be.