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At Vance: Decade

At Vance have been around longer than you think. In fact, they've made eight albums and now those nice people at AFM records have decided that a career retrospective is in order so now Decade is available and is arguably all the At Vance anyone will ever need. Decade is divided into two parts, Disc One is what could be described as, "the hits," whilst Disc Two is a fun mix of live tracks, obscure songs and cover versions.

Disc One is fine and shows why At Vance have gotten to the "Best Of" stage in their career but also why they have never exactly become household names. Their work is eminently competent if slightly generic power metal. They have many fine tunes ("Heaven", "Only Human", and "Dragonchaser" being my particular favourites) but lack a killer tune that helps them stand out from the somewhat crowded pack. It's all good, well worth checking out but not wholly essential in the great scheme of things.

Disc Two is totally mad (but in a good way.) It collects many of their extra tracks from their output and is stupendous if probably mainly for the novelty value. I've always had a theory which argues that any song will sound better if done in a power metal style and At Vance seem to be trying to put the theory to the test. They also seem to have an ABBA fixation and "S.O.S" has to be heard to be believed and it's fun to note that they don't change the gender specific nature of the songs. Their take on "Highway Star" is excellent but the real winners on Disc Two are the versions of popular classical pieces. It's very easy to take the piss and laugh at a metal version of Vivaldi but clearly At Vance are doing it with genuine passion and it shines through and I recommend Disc Two very highly.

Track Listing
CD 1
01. Only Human
02. Take Me Away
03. Take My Pain
04. Heaven
05. Chained
06. Broken Vow
07. The Evil In You
08. Fallen Angel
09. The Curtain Will Fall
10. Dragonchaser
11. Shiver
12. Cold As Ice
13. Flying High (Remastered)
14. Princess Of The Night
15. Heart Of Steel
16. Ride The Sky

CD 2
01. Broken Vow (live)
02. Heroes Of Honour
03. Logical Song (SUPERTRAMP Cover)
04. Shout (TEARS FOR FEARS Cover)
05. Highway Star (DEEP PURPLE Cover)
06. The Winner Takes It All (ABBA Cover)
07. Money Money (ABBA Cover)
08. S.O.S. (ABBA Cover)
09. Gloomy Monday
10. Wannabe
11. Eye Of The Tiger (SURVIVOR Cover)
12. Desperado (THE EAGLES Cover)
13. Vivaldi / Spring
14. Vivaldi / Summer
15. Solfiegetto
16. Beethoven 5th Symphony
17. Bumblebee
18. Caprice No.16
19. Bach Invention No.13
20. Cello Prelude G-Major
21. Chopin Etude No.4

Added: November 2nd 2010
Reviewer: Simon Bray
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 3385
Language: english

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At Vance: Decade
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2010-11-02 13:52:20
My Score:

Decade is a very solid 2CD career retrospective of the German power metal band At Vance. I use 'retrospective' rather than 'greatest hits set' because, quite frankly, it's not like any of these very competent songs were ever or are going to be actual 'hits', but they put together a very fine compilation of their best songs here in a career that began 12 years ago.

Plenty of solid tracks from throughout their discography can be found here on Decade, including "Only Human", "Princess of the Night", "Chained", and "The Evil in You", but you really can't go wrong with anything included on this CD. Just all around solid melodic power metal, nothing more, nothing less. The band has had numerous line-up changes since the beginning, with the only permanent member being founder Olaf Lenk, who plays a mean guitar but seems to have trouble keeping a steady line-up. There's no doubt that the constantly shifting personnel has affected At Vance being able to take things to the next level.

The real treat here however is the bonus second CD, which contains plenty of fun cover tunes (the ABBA tunes are GREAT!) and ripping metal versions of classical pieces, again that show the supreme talents of Lenk. Overall, you get a host of enjoyable At Vance songs here and some great covers for those who are looking to discover the band for the first time.

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