Ice Vajal :: Music Land :: Metal World
 
editorial :: feedback :: newsletter ::  
   Bands :: A-Z / A / At Vance /

On disc: At Vance



Only Human - Claudia Ehrhardt - 7 stars
The Evil In You - Claudia Ehrhardt - 8 stars
VII - Philip Thelen - 8 stars
Ride The Sky - Claudia Ehrhardt - 8 stars
Facing Your Enemy - Philip Thelen - 7 stars


www.at-vance.com







Facing Your Enemy

Facing Your Enemy
(AFM Records - 2012)


Facing Your Enemy is the third album of At Vance with vocalist Rick Altzi. His unique, rough voice adds the special thing to the music of At Vance.

The opener Heaven Is Calling is a very high tempo tune with constant double bass attacks. But things are really getting great with the title track Facing Your Enemy, which is my fave of all. A very catchy introduction which appears during the whole chorus, paired with grooving riffing. With Eyes Of The Stranger they head back to their typical melodic rock tunes. Fear No Evil appears in the mid tempo section with a nice chorus, but I don't think that it's the strongest song. The same is for Live & Learn. Don't Dream is a very nice ballad which shows the whole spectrum of Altzi's voice. Although I don't like this keyboard sound in the beginning, it's a very great song. See Me Crying again appears in the mid-tempo section. But this time the whole song is more 'liquid' to me. It really grooves. Saviour is the At Vance-typical classical metal variation of Olaf Lenk. It turns to a great melodic up tempo tune! Tokyo is also released as an online charity single. The song itself presents as a very catchy tune with nice chorus and sing along. March Of The Dwarf is an short classical interpretation with ass kicking guitar lines. Fame And Fortune again is some kind of up tempo with the typical At Vance trademarks. Last track Things I Never Needed is an acoustic one.

In the end I have to say, that Facing Your Enemy is an typical At Vance album. It contains catchy tunes, mid tempo tunes, ass kicking tunes, and so on.

I recommend: Heaven Is Calling, Facing Your Enemy, Eyes Of The Stranger, Don't Dream, See Me Crying, Saviour, Tokyo


7 stars

Philip Thelen
 

up








Ride The Sky

Ride The Sky
(AFM Records - 2009)


At Vance mastermind Olaf Lenk presents his 8th album in 10 years and so their fans know what to expect - power metal with great melodies. It's been 2 years since VII and the most important news is probably that singer Rick Altzi is still handling the vocals.

The band kicks off with the title track Ride The Sky, a catchy power metal tune which can easily hook you up. Olaf Lenk's guitar play is supporting the song, even is the adds some lead parts. A heavy rocker is Torn - Burning Like Fire, another cool track which can convince you with it's emotional vocals. Rick Altzi's powerful vocals are expressive. After Last In Line they offer the Free cover Wishing Well - great song, well done! With Vivaldi Summer 2nd Set Mr. Lenk shows is again adapting of a classic piece. I think it somehow disturbs the flow of the album, but that's a matter of taste, coz one has to admit that he's doing good. Back on track with the powerful melodic track Power. Time to slow down for the balladesque You And I which starts with acoustic guitar, then Altzi joins in. A sad, but beautiful tune. You can feel the sadness, even when the song become a power ballad and it gets clear that Rick Altzi's vocals are what makes the good songs shine even brighter. Okay, one might find You And I too cheesy, but then push skip and head over to the very fast End Of Days! The hard rock-based Falling show them a bit differently, but still strong. And with Farewell they say good-bye for now. But if you expect some slow track then you are wrong, this is an up-tempo riff-based rocker. A good choice to end the album, coz it will make you spin the album again!

At Vance deliver a strong album with great power metal tunes plus some other stuff. To get an idea listen to: Last In Line, Power, Falling and Farewell.


8 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt
 

up








VII

VII
(AFM Records - 2007)


At Vance is the band of Olaf Lenk and since they started back in 1999 they achieved a lot and now they release their 7th album - simply called VII. On VII At Vance present new singer Rick Altzi.

The album cover is quite interesting and due to the women shown at the cover you might think of Manowar, but you are wrong. At Vance offer melodic metal and with VII they deliver a decent album which is fun to listen to! The opening track Breaking The Night offers cool riffs and shines through Rick Altzi's vocals. Epic and varying. With Shiver you get a killer tune... A real hymn, this one is an ear catcher! I bet it won't take long til you hear this one in metal discos! Beside that songs like Cold As Ice and Golden Leaves stick out, the later one is another metal anthem. But you should also check out Answer Me and the ballad Lost In Your Love. Well arranged and produced.

The latest album of At Vance is straight, modern melodic metal made in Germany. In a nutshell, a great album and I think it's not just a treat for fans of melodic power metal... Fans of traditional heavy metal should check them out, too. Well done, guys!


8 stars

Philip Thelen
(translation: Claudia Ehrhardt)
 






The Evil In You

The Evil In You
(AFM Records - 2003)


The first impression is that the band became more mature musically, then the vocals join in and the main change is presented. Singer Oliver Hartmann left the band, coz touring wasn't his type of life. The new one is a well-known singer. His name? Mats Leven! The Swedish became known for his work with Yngwie Malmsteen and Treat. Beside that the line-up is stable and I think the tour with Rhapsody helped the band growing.

Opening with Fallen Angel the band goes full speed ahead, breaks when the vocals join in, then they play a type of Stratovarius-style - fast melodic power metal. This time the songs are catchier, easier to get into, but even after several spins they sound fresh and won't get boring. In my opinion the voice of Mats Leven which is powerful, with a slightly bluesy touch add the special something to the tunes.

The title track starts with a heavy guitar riffing. I won't say that At Vance's previous releases were lacking something. Oliver Hartmann did a good job, but with Mats Leven they entered the next level. Melodic power metal with progressive influences, partly neo-classical... A catchy chorus soon makes you sing along. Most songs are up-tempo, but with breaks and not necessarily have fast double-bass drumming. The beginning of Stronger Than You Think is quite symphonic. But another fast one, Levens vocals partly aggressive, partly smooth. But always powerful. A fast rocker which live will be even better. Breaks make it more interesting, so there are mid-tempo parts. Actually I miss a little bit a musical variety, coz mainly the songs are fast ones. Even if with The Curtain Will Fall there is a more mid-tempo tune. I think that this is one of the strongest songs, coz it's more intense, even if it has the same elements. A metal hymn which builds a kind of bridge to the next one - On Million Miles. First you hear the sound of surf, then the music starts. A balladesque tune crowned by the voice of Mats Leven. Definitely a good decision to hire the Swedish singer. Perhaps this is the turn in the career of At Vance?!?! Time will tell... Let's hope that they will continue working together. A good example for the variety of Mats Leven is the ballad Shining Star. There should be more moments where the band reduce the power and the speed to make it more intense... Well, perhaps next time.

This album is a good choice for fans of melodic power metal. Fans of neo-classical metal shouldn't hesitate to buy it as well. Well done!


8 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt
 






Only Human

Only Human
(AFM Records - 2001)


At Vance are no newcomers, even if many fans might not be familiar with the name. Only Human is their 4th album and their first release for AFM Records. Since their debut was released back in 1999 the band get established in Japan and made some fans elsewhere. With Only Human they are now on their way to make it everywhere with their neo-classic metal which also has some progressive elements. You think you heard this voice before? But don't know At Vance? Then you heard Tobias Sammet's Avantasia album where singer Oliver Hartmann took part. The title track is a mid-tempo track with a catchy hook, but there is more.... Listen to Take My Pain and you'll know what I'm talking about. Only a little larger variety and they can make it to the next level... Not that far away... Next time... Btw, as bonus track at the lim. edition (first edition) you'll find a cover of the Rainbow classic I Surrender which is close to the original, but sounds fresh.


7 stars

 

           ©2008-2012 by Claudia Ehrhardt • E-Mail: contact@ice-vajal.com


Bands A