At Vance

The Evil in You

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At Vance play it safe with their fifth album in as many years, 2003's The Evil in You, which offers textbook Teutonic power metal identical in nature to the rest of their recorded output -- as well as to the bulk of their country's contributions to the heavy metal genre in the past, oh, 20 years. Expertly performed; straightforwardly arranged; imminently catchy; but sadly equally forgettable; the band's unsurprising recipe will doubtlessly thrill their dedicated fans, but bore the vast remaining metal masses senseless. Just listen to the ultra-predictable opening trio of "Fallen Angel," (the token fast thrashing starter); "Broken Vow," (the token radio friendly tune with the big-chorus); and the title track (the token, plodding metal anthem) for a taster, and you'll know what's in store throughout. The pounding "Stronger than You Think" and the eerie "One Million Miles" do manage to combine these clich├ęs more interestingly than most, but it's still troubling to realize that there's nothing on The Evil in You that Helloween wasn't doing nearly 20 years ago.

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