At Vance - Dragonchaser
Shark Records
Melodic Heavy Metal
10 songs (51'49)
Release year: 2001
At Vance, Shark Records
Reviewed by Chris

At Vance new piece starts quite strongly, with excellent guitar melody for a very cool song called Dragonchaser. But quickly I can sense a strong inspiration within the songs, and this inspiration is without any doubts : Yngwie Malmsteen ! Luckily for At Vance, it sounds like the Magnum Opus album, which is simply and unconditionally the best album from M. Malmsteen. But I must admit that I'm a bit bored of that sound... it really gets boring to hear the same sound over and over again, with riffs that feel more like guitar solos than actual riffs.

So despite this strong problem of ... "originality" I would say, the album is quite enjoyable, very good melodic heavy metal with catchy melodies and excellent guitar parts, that demonstrates the big potential and musicianship of At Vance. The only problem with this band is that they don't really have an identity, all their album are quite different one another, but you can always identify their music to another artist and that's really too bad.

The album contains some excellent songs but also contain mid-tempo or ballads (I'd say almost half the album is on a slower tone) that are not that enjoyable (they're not awful, but nothing thrilling neither). In the end the album holds good and medium moments with sometimes some boring moments as well. There is a cover of classical music, Beethoven, 5th Symphony and although its quite cool it tends to become quickly annoying after 2 or 3 minutes... too bad. The album contains a second instrumental track and this one ends the album, and frankly it's quite medium and could have been ripped of the track list if you ask me. The song Winner Takes It All sounds extremely familiar and I'm asking myself if it's not a cover song... but if it isn't it sure sounds very familiar. The production is nice, and Malmsteen fan will find some good elements from the Magnum Opus album and I'm quite sure they'll love this album (at least the fast songs). I personally think that this new album is a step back but I also think that At Vance are a good band, with strong potential, and they might only need some originality. The overall is again quite a melpot and the album can jump from a very slow song to an almost speed melodic tune, so its difficult to recommend it to a certain type of metal fan. I'd say if you're into Malmsteen, you'll like the fast moments, and if you simply like great guitars and musicianship, then you'd better check out this last At Vance album, although its not their best album so far, it's fairly good release.

Killing Songs :
Dragonchaser, Crucified & Too Late.
Chris quoted 75 / 100
Other albums by At Vance that we have reviewed:
At Vance - Chained reviewed by Marty and quoted 80 / 100
At Vance - The Evil In You reviewed by Danny and quoted 90 / 100
At Vance - Only Human reviewed by Mike and quoted 87 / 100
At Vance - Heart Of Steel reviewed by Chris and quoted 85 / 100
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