The title says it all! Opinions expressed here are those of the authors. Personal tastes may vary, and we are cool with that.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

CD Review: Visions of Atlantis's "Maria Magdalena"

I love how some bands save their best material for EPs.  Leaves' Eyes does this all the time, with the exception of Melusine, which was pretty bad compared to gems like their Legend Land EP and their Elegy EP.  From a marketing standpoint, these EPs make total sense, and it makes sense to keep some little surprises back from the fans so they'll buy more stuff.

Maria Magdalena, released Oct. 21, is VoA's first EP, and I have to say, though I liked Delta well enough (review here), I on the whole like this EP a lot more.

It starts off with the cover of a song I'd never heard before, "Maria Magdalena", originally performed by German pop artist Sandra.  You can listen to the original here.  It's very typical 80s pop and it kind of makes me cringe when I listen to it.  The VoA version, which you can listen to here, is a much more updated, modern version and it rocks.

Also included on this EP are a few new songs, the faster "Change of Tides" and "Distant Shores" and the slower, ballad-like follow up to "The Poem" from 2007's Trinity, entitled "Beyond Horizon - The Poem Part II."  This latter song is great, mainly because it shows of Mario Plank's sensitive side.  In fact, one of the things I liked most about this EP overall is that Mario uses his clean vocals and leaves his growlier voice at home for a while.  In "Beyond Horizon" he sounds amazing and emotional like he never has before.

The other song on this 6-track release that I enjoyed a lot was a remake of "Last Shut of Your Eyes", which originally appeared on VoA's 2004 release, Castaway, back when Nicole Bogner was still lead singer. (Oh, Nicole, where are you now?  You were so awesome!)  This newer version of course features current VoA female lead Maxi Nil, who is an excellent singer.  She really shines on this EP, and when listening to this song in particular, I got a sense of nostalgia.  This is a song that originally got me into the band, yet I hadn't heard it in ages.  Hearing "Last Shut of Your Eye" has inspired me to go back through VoA's discography and revisit my old favourites because it's just been plain too long.

This is definitely an EP worth listening to if you're a VoA fan, as I am, and if you're looking to get into the "new" VoA.  Though Delta is certainly a worthwhile listen, Maria Magdalena doesn't have a single weak or filler song on it, so I definitely recommend it.  Horns up! \m/

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