AT VANCE Ride the sky review
This is the ninth album by the German Power Metal act AT VANCE. They really must have been biding their time under a rock somewhere since they haven't stirred any dust around our boots before this release. The answer why might lie in poor promotion or maybe that they simply aren't good enough.
The album starts off with the title track that seems to reflect the fantasy oriented cover well. Ride the sky is a mainstream track complete with heavily layered vocals during the chorus. They are repeating the title of the album over and over and over. But is it enough to make us remember the album? The guitar solo is extremely fluent and well performed in while the overall impression is that this is bleak, easy listening music.
The second track Torn - Burning like fire is a slower, groovier track. It is better than the title track but still it wont make us jump up and down. This is proves an average ability to write music, not more nor less. We are still waiting for something to knock us out of our socks.
Next up is Last In Line is a faster track with guitars galloping through the entire song. During the chorus there is a tasteful guitar figure supporting the vocals. Nothing new here, we have heard this a thousand times before. The soloing in this track makes us think of the old Ozzy shredder Jake E Lee in Bark At The Moon.
Hey, what is this! Now we are talking! Oh, OK, they caught us off guard there. Wishing Well, the old Free song... This track is boiling. Olaf Lenk has a slight touch of Coverdale quality to his singing and the guitar work just shimmer. Why the hell don't they do this throughout the entire album?
We have some tracks to go. All hope is not gone.
Salvation day is a track along the veins of the title track and gone is the magic. With Salvation Day AT VANCE really could apply for the Eurovision Song Contest. they can't scare a kid with this. It's lean but certainly not mean.
Vivaldi, Summer 2nd Set is just what it is sounding like. Well this was innovative back when Richie Blackmore gave Yngwie Malmsteen his cape. That was a while back wasn't it? This song is probably much more fun to play than it is to listen to because this is a real sleeping pill.
Next up is a song called Power. Power was the title of a great Kansas album back in the good old days. Greatly underestimated with great guitar work by Steve Morse. If you still are reading this we suggest you get that album, it rocks. The song? Oh it sounds like something that the the band Axe could have produced but they made and make better songs.
Next up is a beautiful acoustic guitar driven track called You and I. The lighters in the air everybody, it's a power ballad. This one is actually pretty good with a chorus that people will sing along to. They would have been smarter to start the album with this track, that would have been considered innovative, something that this album lack so desperately.
End of day is another fast track flashing some classically inspired guitar playing. Falling is a descent mid tempo track featuring a sing along chorus that you actually will remember but this has been done by so many before them it becomes slightly embarrassing. Farewell is five minute track that really brings nothing to the table.
AT VANCE really deal with the Devil since they play music done great by many old bands and developed by many bands still playing today. Just to pick few: Pretty Maids, Sonata Arctica, Sabaton, Kamelot, Nightwish and the list goes on and on. AT VANCE is not bad, don't get us wrong, they are great musicians. They are really tight, there is nothing wrong with the production and the sound on the album is great. The cover sits right in there with the style of music that they produce.
The only problem is that the compositions are boring.