If you read my review of Vanden Plas' Chronicles of the Immortals - Netherworld [Path One], then you may likely know all about their anticipated follow-up, Chronicles Of The Immortals: Netherworld II. But first, bear with me while I mention right off the bat that this is a classic example of one of the problems with long titles: no consistency in syntax. Meh. Whatever, right?
Suffice it to say that this latest release is the second half of the band's collaboration with successful homeland author Wolfgang Hohlbein, based on his vampire series Die Chronik der Unsterblichen (The Chronicle of the Immortals). And that if youheard and liked the band's progrmetal sound from previous works (specifically the preceding album in this saga) you'll like this. With the story of the immortal Andrej Delãnymay continuing as he makes his way through the Netherworld to save others as well as himself, there may be more contemplative moments as the story arcs, but its still classic VP all the way. Singer Andy Kuntz worked with Hohlbein nad his manager to flesh out the story and it's perhaps that level of devotion to the source material that helped the bad connect to it as well as they did. And given their progmetal pedigree, I would even propose that this album could stand on its own, though it's obviously meant to be a part of a larger work. There's just some fantastic atmospheric music on this disc, providing that characteristic sense of dynamics, that makes the subgenre so much more interesting than standard metal with its themes of getting laid and starting fights, and that fits the darker, more philisophic nature of the story's themes.
The Bottom Line: Fans of either Vanden Plas or Wolfgang Hohlbein will likely enjoy this two-part saga, if only to have a modern progmetal opera (there aren't many is what I'm saying) amongst their music collection.
- Genghis might have to find that graphic novel...