Visions of Atlantis

Eternal Endless Infinity

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On their debut album, Austrian symphonic pop-metal band Visions of Atlantis bring the spirit of '70s progressive rock and AOR pop back to metal in a manner more reminiscent of Queensr├┐che or King's X than Rush. Opening track "Lovebearing Storm," with its alternating-line vocals by the operatic soprano Nicole Bogner and the more traditionally bellowing male singer Christian Stani, sounds bizarrely like the Act II duet from an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, and the remainder of the album continues to skirt that odd combination of thunderous Euro-metal power and unapologetically cheesy pop. Unlike theoretically similar European metal bands like Nightwish, which started the trend of operatic female vocals, Visions of Atlantis have little affinity for the pulverizing, bass-heavy thud of black metal, although they share a fondness for speedy tempos, as exemplified by "Lords of the Sea." The lyrics of that song, like most of the others, suggest a vague storyline inspired by the legendary land under the sea, which only confirms the band's musical connection to the Dungeons & Dragons wing of metal. The entire album is oddly compelling, if only for the oddity of the combination of styles, but it's ultimately not particularly successful. But if ever a metal band was likely to enter the Eurovision Song Contest, Visions of Atlantis would be it.

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