New Release Spotlight: Vanden Plas / Soen / Crack the Sky

A list of new and recently released albums we recommend.

The New Release Spotlight is a roundup of new and recently released albums.

Vanden Plas – The Ghost Xperiment: Illumination (Dec. 4th, 2020)

In 2019, German progressive metal veterans Vanden Plas delivered part one of their two part concept album, “The Ghost Xperiment”.  “The Ghost Xperiment – Awakening,” was another solid outing by the group known for combining aggressive metal with memorable hooks and melodies.  The band recently released Part 2 with their new album, “The Ghost Xperiment – Illumination”. This set picks up where the last one left off, introducing more gripping prog metal tracks such as the opener “When the World is Falling Down”, the intense ballad ‘Black Waltz Death’ or the 13-minute long epic ‘The Ouroboros’. The band do not break any new ground here but they once again deliver an entertaining album worth exploring.

Order here:

1. When the World Is Falling Down (7:07)
2. Under the Horizon (6:47)
3. Black Waltz Death (8:12)
4. The Lonely Psychogon (8:23)
5. Fatal Arcadia (8:23)
6. The Ouroboros (13:03)
7. Ghost Engineers (4:50)
8. Krieg Kennt Keine Sieger (bonus track) (4:28)

Andy Kuntz / vocals
Stephan Lill / guitar
Günter Werno / keyboards
Andreas Lill / drums
Torsten Reichert / bass


Soen – Imperial (Jan 29th, 2021)

Swedish-based metal group Soen have released their fifth album, Imperial, the follow up to 2019’s critically acclaimed ‘Lotus’. Imperial continues Soen’s unique journey through 8 supremely constructed songs spanning frustration, reflection and hope.  The production is noticeably impressive providing even more punch to these already hard-hitting tracks.  Songs like the opener “Lumerian”, or the powerful “Illusion” are among the best the band have created to this point.  Imperial is intense, dark, and though-provoking.  It provides increasing positive returns with every listen.  Highly recommend.

Order here:

1. Lumerian
2. Deceive
3. Monarch
4. Illusion
5. Antagonist
6. Modesty
7. Dissident
8. Fortune

Joel Ekelöf / vocals
Martin Lopez / drums, percussion
Oleksii “Zlatoyar” Kobel / bass
Lars Åhlund / keyboards, guitar
Cody Ford / lead guitar


Crack the Sky – Tribes (Jan. 15th, 2021)

Hailed by Rolling Stone as “the best U.S. prog band you’ve never heard,” Crack the Sky return with their 18th studio album ‘Tribes.’ The 13 tracks that comprise ‘Tribes’ land among some  Crack The Sky’s finest material in a long while. From the uptempo rock of the title track to the politically charged “Dear Leaders,” and the 9-minute “Quick” which bridges a provocative symphonic opening with a haunting second-half carried by a sneaky-yet catchy chorus and monster guitar solo section. There is a classic rock vibe to this collection yet long-time fans of the band will enjoy this latest by this group that continues to prove they have a lot still left to say.

Order here:

1. Tribes (4:37)
2. Another Civil War (5:22)
3. Dear Leaders (5:02)
4. Blowing Up Detroit (4:40)
5. Quick (8:35)
6. Another Beautiful Day (4:14)
7. All My Innocence (4:27)
8. Drinking Myself Sober (4:40)
9. Stranger in a Strange Land (4:44)
10. We Don’t Know (4:07)
11. Alligator Man (4:26)
12. Boom Boom (4:10)
13. The Lost Boys (4:26

John Palumbo – Lead Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards
Rick Witkowski – Guitars & Vocals
Joey D’Amico – Drums & Vocals
Bobby Hird – Guitars & Vocals
Glenn Workman – Keyboards & Vocals
Dave DeMarco – Bass & Vocals


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