Visions Of Atlantis – The Deep And The Dark
Visions Of Atlantis is an Austrian metal band formed in 2000. Fusing symphonic and power metal with pirate and nautical themes, they create stories of the high seas and tell epic tales of fantastic voyages. Visions Of Atlantis use two vocalists, one male and one female. They both sing clean and tend towards classical stylings, keeping away from the excessive use of distortion or grit. What they do have is a ton of power in both of their voices and from the instruments behind them.
- Clémentine Delauney – Female Vocals
- Siegfried Samer – Lead Vocals/Backing Vocals
- Christian Douscha – Guitars
- Herbert Glos – Bass
- Thomas Caser – Drums
- Guest Musicians:
- Anton Konrath – Shamanic Vocals/Additional Percussions
- Frank Pitters – Keyboards/Backing Vocals
- Mike Koren – Bass
The Deep And The Dark is the sixth studio album from Visions Of Atlantis. Released on February 16, 2018, by Napalm Records, the only carry-over from previous releases is Thomas Caser. He is the only original member of the band left by this time. One very solid record was written, recorded, and produced by the band despite the changes. We need only hit play and get into the first track to know that fact.
- The Deep & The Dark
- Return To Lemuria
- Ritual Night
- The Silent Mutiny
- Book Of Nature
- The Last Home
- The Grand Illusion
- Dead Reckoning
- Words Of War
- Prayer To The Lost
We start with the title track, “The Deep And The Dark.” There is a really nice build-up from the fade-in to the opening riff. The guitars are intermittent and phase in and out of the song at the start. The male vocal under Clementine and the choir behind her for the chorus give the song a lot of depth and power. The keyboards, coupled with the guitars in many spots, keep the sound big and bombastic. The vocals and the rhythm all match this. This is a grandiose beginning and a great start to the record.
The following two songs are heavy, leaning more into the power metal end of the sound VOA has established. The chugging guitars and galloping rhythms are darker than many of the tones VOA will use throughout an album. The female and male vocals tend towards the deeper end of their ranges during the verses, though they soar higher in the chorus. These are well-done songs with a lot of emotion. The eerie vocalizations, and the added strings, all build the tension. The guitar solo flies free and lifts “Return To Lemuria” to great heights.
“The Silent Mutiny” has something I love when done right, and it really is here. The keys and guitar trade-off on the same riff, going back and forth, rocking hard. The rhythm is almost frenetic. The tempo of this song is a joy to behold. The layered strings and the layered vocals create a larger feel for the song, giving it an immense presence. This song is just fun to listen to, rocking hard and providing an excellent pace for headbanging.
The Arabesque intro and tones of “Book Of Nature” are a great addition to the record. It also really expands the sound of the band as a whole. I hear some Within Temptation influences on this song. Whether this is intentional or just something that I hear because I love that band, as well, is something only the composers can answer. No matter if I’m right or wrong, the song is excellent. It’s also one of the band’s heaviest songs I’ve heard. I love the driving rhythm and appreciate the keys bringing some airiness in over the guitars. All of this works together exceptionally well.
“The Last Home” is the first taste we get of how VOA handles ballads on this record. The symphonic elements on this one are sublime. Those string arrangements are gorgeous. Clementine ducks into her lower register several times and do a little belting in places, showing off a vast swath of her range. The build from the opening to the crescendo and the end is spectacular. As much as I love the heavy VOA does, this is one of my favorite s on this record. It is peaceful and enchanting.
Getting back to the heavy, “The Grand Illusion” is a banger. There are lots of cool tones and textures in this one. The guitars are lower and darker, and the keys contrast this well, going to the upper end and creating an excellent mirror for the differences in the vocals. The guitars and keys trading solos are always fun, especially if they have their own take rather than copying each other. In much the same vein, “Dead Reckoning” is a good mixture of light and heavy. The vocal harmonies work together beautifully.
“Words Of War” features more prominent keys at the start. They flip, and the guitars take the lead while the keys provide that understated ambiance VOA is very good at creating. The chugging pace of this song is really excellent. The guitar solos, followed by a key lead, are excellent. The rhythm chugs along, matching the pace and creating a rock-solid foundation.
The album wraps with “Prayer To The Lost,” another ballad. This one is a full-on power ballad, complete with a nice, slow, yet very heavy riff. The verses are gentle and full of peaceful piano and soaring vocals. At the same time, the chorus goes heavy and checks all the power ballad boxes. The guitar solo is subdued and wonderfully paced. It never goes over the top, which can ruin a song sung in this style. The execution of this song is divine.
Visions Of Atlantis is an excellent band. They’ve been through line-up changes and come out stronger. This record is nice and heavy, with tons of power and symphonic metal segments, but it also has two magnificent ballads. The use of two clean vocalists is a good choice. They do not go too far into the pop realm as some symphonic power bands have done in the past. They don’t go over-the-top theatrical either. VOA stays in their pocket genre and does it better than most.
- Guitars – 9
- Rhythms – 9
- Vocals – 10
- Songwriting – 9
- Production – 9
- Overall – 9.20