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German prog metal quintet Vanden Plas ambitiously tackles the classic THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO on the nine-track CHRIST 0. This veteran outfit’s latest endeavor explodes with keyboard and guitar duels, passionate vocals, and a metallic bite that accelerates Vanden Plas spot in the prog metal hierarchy. Tracks like “January Sun” is as epic as it gets, clocking in at over nine minutes and fully loaded with choir background vocals, rumbling rhythms, and dramatic changes of pace that rival any well-done Broadway musical, while “Wish You Were Here” excels with a dynamic sense of orchestration that thankfully never gets irritating as some prog metal tends to more often than not. CHRIST 0 will not disappoint fans of atmospheric metal that crave a strong narrative and are floored by remarkable songwriting prowess.
- Mike SOS