AT VANCE – Chained

AT VANCE - Chained
  • 7.5/10
    AT VANCE - Chained - 7.5/10


AFM Records
Release date: October 9, 2007

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

This is not the new At Vance album; this is actually the rerelease of their sixth attempt entitled Chained — originally shown the light of the day in mid-2005. Additionally, this album is the last with Mats Leven on the vocals, a singer who is also known by his work with Yngwie Malmsteen and Abstrakt Algebra. At Vance was formed by the ex-Zed Yago guitarist Oliver Lenk and the singer Oliver Hardmann and made the first addition to the back catalog in 1999 with the release of No Escape.

The album opens impressively fast with “Rise From The Fall,” featuring catchy keyboard melodies and some classic, powerful, and mostly high-pitched vocals. This sound can be easily characterized as Euro Power Metal in the vein of Stratovarius. “Heaven” leans towards melody, comprising a relaxed tempo and solid rhythm section courtesy of the bass-drums alliance. This change really spices things up and for some could reveal Talisman influences in terms of the groove tempo and the emotional vocals that look towards Jeff Scott Soto. Back to the fast tempos in the guitar driven “Tell Me” and the heavier “Now Or Never” that has an almost modern sound and groove. Things get really atmospheric with the Power ballad “Who’s Foolin’ Who” — the first bonus track of the re-release and features a really nice guitar solo (the vibrato is excellent) that is a classic addition to songs like this. Mats Leven has an excellent and powerful voice (this is why Yngwie chose him), which is most enjoyable in the mid-tempo keyboard-based track “Two Hearts,” or the really catchy a la Rainbow sing-a-long song “Run / Leave.” Some more classic influences can be found in “Live For The Sacred” where the flawless sound production due to Finnvox Studios has brought a Ritchie Blackmoore “timbre” on the lead guitars.

The three instrumentals found in this release are classic compositions from Bach, Vivaldi, and Korsakov that were arranged by Lenk for electric guitar and prove for a thousandth time that Classic Music and Heavy Metal blend into an excellent and most melodic combination. The fans of classic keyboard-based Hard Rock with some Euro Power Metal finishing touches can acquire the re-release of “Chained” and make the initial acquaintance with At Vance. Whoever already owns the original version of Chained must figure out whether or not the two bonus tracks “Who’s Foolin’ Who” and “Flight Of The Bumblebee” can be “that” enticing to get ahold of this album.


  • Dr. Dimitris Kontogeorgakos

    Dimitris was a reviewer and interviewer here at Metal Express Radio. He has a diploma in Physics, a Masters in Medical Physics and a doctorate dimploma in Nuclear Medicine (this is the reason for his Dr. title). He was given his first Heavy Metal tape at the age of 12 which was a compilation entitled Scandinavian Metal Attack. The music immediately drew his attention and there he was listening to the first Iron Maiden album, trying to memorize the names of the band members. That was it! After some years, he stopped recording tapes and started buying vinyl records, spending every penny in the local record shop. The first live concert he attended was Rage co-headlining with Running Wild.

    View all posts

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.