Review Summary: Nothing groundbreaking or imaginative, but still an enjoyable listen.
Inspired by the ancient and popular myth of Atlantis, Visions of Atlantis has resurfaced to reveal another symphonic power metal album. Following in Nightwish’s footsteps quite closely, Visions of Atlantis has released yet another Nightwish album. Too many musical artists claim inspiration from a specific band, yet ultimately, they become a copy of the said band. Take Tool for example, bands like Breaking Benjamin and Chevelle are supposedly inspired by Tool, but their recycled bits of music prove them as replicas. Truthfully, it is practically impossible to achieve more than the band they strive to sound like. No matter how thorough the attempt, there can only be one Tool (or in this case, only one Nightwish).
Visions of Atlantis sounds almost exactly like Nightwish. Melissa Ferlaak’s vocals sound uncannily close to Tarja Turunen’s, and Mario Plank’s vocals simulate Marco Hietala’s raspy vocals. With the same tempo, power chords, and overuse of the keyboard, you will need to dunk your head in a bucket of ice water to remember that this is not Nightwish you’re listening to (they should have called themselves Nightfish or something). Melissa Ferlaak is an exceptional singer, and regulating her vocals in a second-rate clone band is an atrocious waste of her talent. In fact, everything the band does seems like a waste of their talent when examining their potential. They are not necessarily a poor band, but Nightwish is possibly the most well-known and loved symphonic/power metal band of all time. Attempting to compete against that is like trying to cheat death. Death will always find you.
Visions of Atlantis is not as poor as previously assumed, in fact, their music is generally solid, and it seems that their greatest asset is the ability to consistently be up-beat. ‘At The Back of Beyond’, for example, claims a wonderfully employed up-beat tempo, resulting in the catchiest, and most satisfying song in the album. ‘The Secret’ and ‘Passing Dead End’ employ the same tactic, resulting in equally good tracks. Unfortunately, the album goes downhill from there; Visions of Atlantis plays the same card for the rest of the album’s length. Imagination suddenly slows, and it sounds like the same song is played over and over and over again. However, with the combination of well-written and melodic songs, complaints are unnecessary, and Nightwish junkies will find much to enjoy here. Songs are commonly catchy, guitars are noticeably crushing, and the album ultimately reigns as a fun listen.