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Visions Of Atlantis - "Maria Magdalena" (CD/EP)

Visions Of Atlantis - "Maria Magdalena" CD/EP cover image

"Maria Magdalena" track listing:

1. Maria Magdalena (Sandra Cover) (3:35)
2. Melancholia (5:29)
3. Change of Tides (4:55)
4. Distant Shores (4:01)
5. Last Shut Of Your Eyes (4:58)
6. Beyond Horizon - The Poem, Pt. II (3:27)

Reviewed by on October 20, 2011

"Visions of Atlantis is right on the edge of stardom, ready to spread its wings and fly from the safety of the Nightwish nest to exert its own influence throughout world of symphonic metal."

Ever since rising from oblivion with new Greek goddess Maxi Nil, Visions of Atlantis is back on track to become one of the most important bands in symphonic metal. Within eight months of releasing its comeback album "Delta" this past February, the band already has a brand new EP entitled "Maria Magdalena." Over the years, EP releases have notoriously consisted of throw away tracks recorded during a full-length writing process or demo tracks from years past, but "Maria Magdelena" is worthy of attention.

The band chooses to live dangerously by naming and commencing the EP with a cover track, especially one of an 80's pop song. However, the result is a bombastic symphonic metal rendition of the 1985 Sandra hit "Maria Magdalena" that could easily pass off as a Visions of Atlantis original. This interpretation outdoes the former in so many ways and on so many levels, most notably with far superior vocals by Nil and Mario Plank. After further review of the original, it sounded a distorted chord shy of being symphonic metal itself.

The EP is also home to two tracks that can easily be considered the best material the band has composed to date, "Melancholia" and "Change of Tides." Both rain "tides" of mellifluous hooks swaddled in the Visions Of Atlantis brand of "supple heaviness." Both Nil and Plank really flash the pipes, Plank in the former and Nil in the latter. "Distant Shores" is equal in its melody and just as strong as either of the aforementioned tracks, just a little less theatrical. The maturation of sound and song writing really shows since the days of "Morning In Atlantis."

I normally would have balked at the inclusion of "Last Shut Of Your Eyes," the slow starting tasty rocker that originally appeared on the band's 2004 release "Cast Away." However, upon listening to the re-recording, the sound is so much fuller with the addition Nil's little background inflections. Her vocals are much less classically operatic than that of former vocalist Nicole Bogner. In comparison, Bogner's version seems abrasive to Nil's sweet and soaring one. Rounding out the EP is the slumbersome ballad "Beyond Horizon, The Poem, Pt. II" (the sequel to "The Poem" on the 2007 release "Trinity"), which represents a typical ballad of the genre. Its placement at the conclusion of this release was perfect.

Visions of Atlantis is right on the edge of stardom, ready to spread its wings and fly from the safety of the Nightwish nest to exert its own influence throughout world of symphonic metal.

Highs: "Melancholia" and "Change of Tides"

Lows: Its probably too much to ask for more this quickly after a full length!

Bottom line: Finally....an EP that is worth it, and for a cost that's next to "Nil."

Rated 4.0 out of 5 skulls
4.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)