At Vance
The Evil In You    
~reviewed by Joel Steudler

YAPMA.  That's my clever and catchy acronym for "Yet Another Power Metal Album", meant as a derogatory punch at bands and record labels who regurgitate the ancient and apparently unalterable formula established by classic bands from days of yore.  Adding nothing new to the genre, and advancing the art of music not in the slightest, a YAPMA is only redeemable if it is so well executed that it becomes an enjoyable foray into an utterly stale genre.   At Vance's The Evil In You almost makes it.  Almost.

As is customary on the modern YAPMA, the musicians are top class and the production is glossy and polished.  Sonic excellence is the norm, but sadly the sounds which are so exquisitely captured are mostly unworthy of the effort taken to preserve them.  Even when excellent musicians and a capable singer get together, if the songs they write have been heard a thousand times before, it's hardly worth celebrating.  Mats Lenk, former singer for Yngwie Malmsteen (another dinosaur relic of a bygone age), capably belts out each tune... sounding like Michael Kiske with a sore throat, mostly... but the tunes are pedestrian affairs that waste his vocals and Olaf Lenk's technically proficient but seldom inspired guitar playing.  

Bands like Thy Majestie and Manticora have proven that powermetal isn't dead, and it is possible to breathe new life into a tired old warhorse.  If only more bands followed their lead.  The members of Dionysus are clearly talented musicians.  I hope someday they outgrow the hero-worship that led them to make yet another minute variation on Helloween et al. 

... oops.  It seems that I've inadvertently copied a paragraph from a review I did of a similar release from Dionysus, also on AFM records.  What luck that my point still applies in full!  Ironic, too, that I can regurgitate old reviews in similar fashion to how AFM spits up bands that play the same tired, formulaic brand of metal.  I will admit that as far as the attack of the clones goes, At Vance is more listenable than the rest of their ilk.  They'll probably sell out a bunch of stadium shows in Germany with this junk, but they seem capable of better things, and I sure won't spend a penny to support their continued rehashing of a genre that saw its best days almost twenty years ago.

Track List:
01.) Fallen Angel
02.) Broken Vow
03.) Evil In You
04.) Stronger Than You Think
05.) The Curtain Will Fall
06.) One Million Miles Away
07.) Right Or Wrong
08.) Shining Star
09.) Streets Of My Dreams
10.) Caprice No. 16
11.) Princess Of Ice

At Vance is:
Olaf Lenk - guitars
Mats Leven - vocals
Rainald König - guitars
Sascha Feldmann - bass
Jürgen Lucas - drums

At Vance Official Website:

AFM records:

The End Records (US):