At Vance - The Evil In You
AFM Records
Neoclassic Metal
Disc 1: 11 songs (49'45) Disc 2: 3 songs (12'44)
Release year: 2003
At Vance, AFM Records
Reviewed by Danny
Album of the month

At Vance are back with The Evil In You, their fifth studio album which follows No Escape (1999), Heart of steel (2000), Dragonchaser (2001) and Only Human (2002), one of my favorite album last year. Humm if I am correct in mathematics, it makes one album per year. Pretty impressive considering quantity doesn't always match quality. But At Vance is an exception ! Their debut album No Escape saw the arrival of a "new duo" : guitarist Olaf Lenk & vocalist Oliver Hartmann. No Escape was very well received in Japan, which discovered the talent of these guys long before Europe ... as usual should I say :-)

First bad surprise : Oliver Hartmann has left the band just before the recording. What a shame ! I hate to see these bands "splitting" when they finally leave the underground. The second surprise - a good one - is their new vocalist : ENORMOUS !!! Oliver was a king, but this Mats Leven (Dogface, Malmsteen, Krux) is also a "killer-vocalist" and remind me very much Oliver. I didn't really realized that Oliver left the band to be honest ...

After a few seconds, I am embraced by the neoclassic metal sound of this band. Like we mentioned it previously, At Vance hasn't invented the powder, but their vocalists - Oliver and now Mars - have this magical way to turn "basic songs" into jewels. Metal doesn't have to be complicated to be melodic and this is At Vance's trademark : simplicity. Pretty Maids would be the "reference band" here, the type of band which push me to listen & love metal a long time ago.

At Vance perpetuates the flame through basic and melodic tracks, including all the best metal elements. The fast melodic opener Fallen Angel - where Mats' vocal immediately hypnotizes you - should push you to jump on this album. If you hesitate, the second track Broken Vow demonstrates the "facility" of this band to write hymn, with an instantly memorable chorus. While you are still hesitating with your earphone, title track The Evil In You- which is much heavier - sees again Mats playing with his wide vocal range. I told you, this new vocalist is a MONSTER ... even though I am missing Oliver.

I must mention also the fast track Stronger Than You Think, the emotional The Curtain Will Fall, the beautiful ballad One Million Miles Away, the two "Helloweenish" tracks Right Or Wrong - what a tempo!- and Street Of My Dreams. The limited edition includes another CD : 3 bonus tracks with previous vocalist Oliver Hartmann on vocals.

If you are not familiar with this band, you may hear people draw comparisons to Stratovarius, Malmsteen, Sonata Arctica, Pretty Maids, Majestic or Reptilian. I highly recommend you to check the discography of At Vance, including this magnificent The Evil In You. The album of the month logo goes for their wonderful discography, this killer album and is my personal way to help this "underrated" band. Now I know that it will cost you money ... because if you like this one, you will jump on their previous record :)

Killing Songs :
Fallen Angel, Broken Vow, The Evil In You and all the rest
Danny quoted 90 / 100
Other albums by At Vance that we have reviewed:
At Vance - Chained reviewed by Marty and quoted 80 / 100
At Vance - Only Human reviewed by Mike and quoted 87 / 100
At Vance - Dragonchaser reviewed by Chris and quoted 75 / 100
At Vance - Heart Of Steel reviewed by Chris and quoted 85 / 100
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