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Visions of Atlantis CD Review: Ethera

Visions of Atlantis

CD Review: Ethera

Label: Naplam Records

By: TJ Fowler

Release Dates:
22.03.2013 G/A/S & Benelux
27.03.2013 ESP/FIN/SWE/NOR
01.04.2013 Rest of Europe
09.04.2013 USA/CAN

Oh Visions of Atlantis(VOA)…where do I even begin with this review?  I have to admit I had never heard of the Austrian symphonic metal band Visions of Atlantis until I volunteered to review their upcoming CD Ethera due out in March/April.

After listening to this CD I wished I had not volunteered.

I do not wish to be unkind or hateful in my review, which can be an easy thing to do these days when sitting behind a keyboard and not having to face the people who put in hard work on something they enjoy and are trying to make a living at.  So I will aim to be constructive and honest here.

The album presented here by VOA, to my ears, seemed very lackluster and unimaginative.  The songs never once really grabbed me or kept me interested.  The vocals seemed flat at times from both the female and male singers of the group.  The Maxi herself seemed adequate but the songs never had any fire to them and Mario seemed at too many times he was trying too hard to sound ‘mean’ when really he just sounded like he didn’t belong in the band(or the genre).  Chris, the guitar player in several songs, sounds like a good, talented player and would on occasion bang out some crunchy riffs.  Only for him to be placed into the background of the production so the listener can hear mostly the two singers sing about…well I didn’t know exactly the what they were singing about. That’s how unengaged Ethera made me feel and I listened to the album twice.  Also, the use of keyboards on the album doesn’t really add anything at all.  You will hear some odd keyboard effects here and there and in the songs but they never really DO anything for the songs.  AT ALL.

According to the band’s bio, VOA were inspired by bands like Nightwish with VOA tending to use both male and female vocalists more evenly than Nightwish.  However, VOA are not Nightwish in terms of songwriting.  I think my biggest complaint with VOA’s Ethera is the song’s compositions.  There is nothing about the songs lyrically or musically that give them any distinctiveness in any form.  This is a shame because I think the musicians themselves have some talent, especially the guitarist, but the songwriting just really dropped the ball here.

I actually looked up a previous song from VOA while writing this review and gave it a listen.  New Dawn it was called and I found it catchy, fun to listen to and enjoyable.  Something I didn’t find on Ethera, which is unfortunate since I found the style of New Dawn good.

I also read up on the band and noticed they have been around since 2000, so they must be doing something right and maybe I’m not the Symphonic Metal expert I need to be to review this band or album.  Hell, maybe Symphonic Metal Maniacs will eat this up like Fruit Loops on a Saturday Morning Cartoon Marathon but for me, Visions of Atlantis’s album Ethera was more like sitting in church on Sunday morning with a hangover.

Rating: 1.5/5

Visions of Atlantis are:

MAXI NIL- Vocals
CRIS TIAN- Guitars

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Official Youtube Channel