Vanden Plas - Chronicles of the Immortals: Netherworld II

Vanden Plas Chronicles of the Immortals – Netherworld II cover
Vanden Plas
Chronicles of the Immortals: Netherworld II
Frontiers Music Srl
Vanden Plas have been at it since 1986, which seems like forever these days… initially they were really small fry – until they got signed later and had their self-released material properly distributed. Since then many albums have been released with the band on more than one occasion taking ample time between releases to make sure they were happy with them. Just a couple of years ago the band released the first chapter of “Chronicles of the Immortals : Netherworld”, a rock opera based on a stage production entitled “Bloodnight” in collaboration with a very successful German “Horror Fiction” author Wolfgang Hohlbein, who has sold some 43 million books so far in his career. They return this year with a sequel to their vampyric saga...
The latter 9 tracks from a total of 19 are surfacing on this album that might have been slightly delayed, (it was expected to surface almost a year earlier originally) completing the “Drama”. The way in which the play has been adapted, allows singer Andy Kuntz to both narrate and assume, multiple characters, by using different “vocal approaches” for each role. In this respect it’s not a “true” opera as there aren’t different people for each role, but still the choirs and extra vocals provide a more luscious approach than that of a simple rock band.
The music continues the luscious, texture rich, theatrical style as evidenced in the previous chapter but carefully builds up on things to accommodate a multi-song climax to the story. Vanden Plas go for creating the appropriate atmosphere and manage great things without overburdening the compositions, like many bands do (not that they lack the skill) wisely choosing to play for the songs.
If you enjoyed the first part you’re highly likely to like this one too. Quite heavy, adventurous, dark and eerie, this is obviously the labor of love that has been executed to perfection with the necessary respect to the sources, of gothic Victorian era romantic literature that undeniably fuels a great deal of the modern vampyre lore. The lyrics continue to be deep and dramatic, delivered expertly, as the entire band quite capably conveys a musical backdrop that fits the story, effortlessly.
As mentioned previously, if you’re a fan totally go for it, you know what to expect… if you liked Jorn’s “Dracula” album, this isn’t a million miles away, although it’s a bit more conservative guitar wise. In general, if you like luscious metal operas that don’t go over the top – this should be right up your alley.