Vanden Plas - Christ 0

Year of Release: 2006
Label: InsideOut
Catalog Number: IOMCD 239/SPV 085-48792
Format: CD
Total Time: 57:20:00

Why is it that most bands these days are doing albums with a religious bent? I think it's best when the concept is generic rather than words straight out of holy scriptures. That way, "it reaches people where they live." That's a line borrowed from Randy George (Ajalon, Neal Morse Band) and I think it says a lot. It's the optimal way to share beliefs and spread spirituality. Personally, if it results in good music and that seems to be the current trend, it's fine with me and I'm sure others will agree.

With that said, that's exactly what this album accomplishes. You'll be mesmerized by the melodies and enthralled by its advances in the genre of industry. You may be aware of the lyrics, but only if you're looking closely.* Off the assembly line comes a product that's durable and tempered. There's smoothness on every plane and precision in its edges.

When you listen to this album, it would appear as if Dream Theater or Pain of Salvation were the party responsible for putting out the pieces. You may also hear Ayreon, Mullmuzzler, Magnitude 9, and Poverty's No Crime stamped within its casing and structure. The singing by Andy Kuntz imitates James LaBrie to a tee. As he hits the high notes and cruises through the clouds, it's quite the convincing impersonation. I wonder if James LaBrie is a ventriloquist or something.

The guitars and keyboards transmit an unusually clear signal in the solos. There were times I thought I heard John Petrucci running through the scales or Tomas Bodin's finessed fingerings. The technique of the musicians and the production of the pit crew result in an ideal air to gas mixture. Each burst is powerful, but contained. Never does it get out of control. Wrapped around the active electrodes is porcelain insulation.

Here's an assessment of the cosmetic attention they've put into this striking body job:

Without hesitation, they get right into the theme. In the first slot, the title track immediately enlightens.

Early on, the song "Postcards To God" is all by its lonesome, but it's awesome. It has an engaging rhythm and an exuberant bridge.

"Wish You Were Here", "Silently," and "Shadow I Am" each have their own interesting interior. As an avid driver, I can say they've really pimped this ride with such inventive detail even Xzibit would be jealous.

After they pass the exquisite power ballad called "Fireroses Dance," they kick in the clutch, step on the gas, and blow flames out the exhaust. For the remainder of the album, they're blazing through the Autobahn. "Somewhere Alone In The Dark" and "January Sun" are totally on fire. The former is highly combustible while the latter is more of a slow burn. The entire album is impressive, but this section sparks as if there is nitro feeding the system.

In the final stretch, it finishes strong with "Lost In Silence," which is broken into equally appealing halves. One "shows" itself to be a savoir while the other has motives "hidden" in rapture.

As my CD player restarted, I let it take me on another flight. There is no need to fight it, because the second time's the charm. Actually, to force my hand to stop it, you'd probably have to twist my arm. Once this fine-tuned engine is warm, little fuel is needed to ignite the pistons.

If you liked Dream Theater's Scenes From A Memory and you're looking for a follow-up, chances are you'd sooner get something commercial and heavy than a sequel. However, if that's your kind of music and you appreciate a progressive metal angle, look no further than Christ 0.

Christ 0 (5:34) / Postcard To God (6:17) / Wish You Were Here (9:14) / Silently (8:31) / Shadow I Am (5:28) / Fireroses Dance (6:03) / Somewhere Alone In The Dark (5:30) / January Sun (10:05) / Lost In Silence (4:19) / Bonus Track For Initial Pressing: Gethsemane (6:19)

Stephan Lill - guitars
Torsten Reichert - bass
Andreas Lill - drums
Andy Kuntz - vocals
G?nter Werno - keyboards

Colour Temple (1994)
Accult (1996)
The God Thing (1997)
Far Off Grace (1999)
Spirit Of Live (2000)
Beyond Daylight (2002)
Colour Temple/AcCult (special edition) (2002)
Christ 0 (2006)
The Seraphic Clockwork (2010)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin DE

Added: March 18th 2006
Reviewer: Joshua "Prawg Dawg" Turner
Artist website:
Hits: 1120
Language: english


[ Back to Reviews Index | Post Comment ]