Newest Review: ... admittedly, 'Heaven' wastes no time launching into an unbearably cheesy guitar melody backed by keyboard that wouldn't sound out of... more
Release Me From This Slavery
Chained - At Vance
Member Name: Frankingsteins
Chained - At Vance
Advantages: Great guitar showmanship from Olaf Lenk.
Disadvantages: A very dated sound, and exactly the same as the band's previous albums.
At Vance is another highly productive speed metal band from Germany, and the consistency of their albums is both their strength and their real problem. 'Chained' is essentially no different to the five albums that preceded it, in its contrast (rather than a more satisfying combination) of fast power metal and slow rock anthems in the spirit of the 1980s' cheesy side. These latter songs are pretty much guaranteed to be the worst, but on this album present a partial exception: admittedly, 'Heaven' wastes no time launching into an unbearably cheesy guitar melody backed by keyboard that wouldn't sound out of place in a retro game show while 'Two Hearts' is merely boring, but fortunately the later slow offerings 'Chained' and 'Live for the Sacred' boast a more epic sound, even if they end up fairly basic.
The more interesting side of this band that singles them out from some of their genre competitors, while serving to align them further with others, comes in the guitar virtuosity of Olaf Lenk, who frequently indulges in neoclassical soloing in the style of Yngwie Malmsteen on most tracks, and actually manages to improve the songs as a result rather than spoiling them through showmanship. As ever, Lenk tackles a Vivaldi piece in track ten, which will be of interest to fans of electric guitar classical interpretations and is kept engaging through the sparing use of drums, but the other guitar interlude track 'Invention #13' simply feels rather pointless at less than one minute in length.
The rest of the album follows the standard speed metal style that German bands have done so well since the eighties, with happy, bashing drums and a great deal of energy, and although these songs such as 'Rise from the Fall,' 'Now or Never' and 'Run for Your Life' are all highly enjoyable at the time, it's nothing that will stay with the listener afterwards when they move on to more creative bands that aren't so rooted in the past.
1. Rise from the Fall
3. Tell Me
5. Now or Never
6. Two Hearts
7. Invention #13
8. Run / Leave
9. Live for the Sacred
10. Vivaldi Winter
11. Run for Your Life
Summary: At Vance's sixth album (2005).