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4 Reviews
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Dokken-inspired metal!, June 13, 2002
By 
Joe White (Layton, Utah United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Colour Temple (Audio CD)
If you only know Vanden Plas from their latter output like 1997's The God Thing or 1999's Far Off Grace, you know that Vanden Plas mixes elements of 80s hard rock along the lines of Dokken or Van Halen with 90s progressive metal like Dream Theater. In fact, post-Colour Temple Vanden Plas is a lot like Dream Theater in many aspects. Though some people think Vanden Plas has too many resemblances to Dream Theater, if you go back and listen to Vanden Plas' first full-length CD Colour Temple, you may get a better idea of where Vanden Plas came from and how they evolved into the band that created The God Thing, Far Off Grace and 2002's Beyond Daylight. I'm not saying it will dismiss the Dream Theater comparisons, but what it will do is give you a better idea of Vanden Plas' other influences. They aren't just a Dream Theater clone. There was (and still is) another side to this talented band.
1. "Father" - A strong opener, "Father" showcases Vanden Plas' ability to write catchy vocal melodies and dynamic guitar riffs.
2. "Push" - This is an awesome, fast-paced rocker! Stephen Lill's guitar style screams George Lynch and the vocal melodies are very much in a Dokken vein while the keyboards add depth.
3. "When the Wind Blows" - This good track has one of those classic Dokken openings that builds and builds. The main riff reminds me of Queensryche, but overall, Dokken seems to be the main influence here.
4. "My Crying" - A good rocker that relies on engaging vocal melodies and strong guitar work, "My Crying" recalls 80s hard rock without repeating it thanks in part to the keyboards. 5. "Soul Survives" - Though this track starts off as a ballad, the song shifts gears and explodes into a mid-paced rocker. The keyboard carries this song throughout. A decent song.
6. "Anytime" - "Anytime" is a ballad that combines loss, loneliness and pain without coming off as being corny or sappy like many ballads did during the 80s. This is a very good song that has a blues quality to it.
7. "Judas" - Maybe I'm making too many Dokken comparisons but, damn, Vanden Plas is writing better Dokken songs than Dokken is now! And this rocker is no exception. The guitar riffs sound like something George Lynch could of come up with and the vocal melodies scream Dokken as well. This track is one of the best on the album.
8. "Back to Me" - "Back to Me" sounds like it's straight from the 80s hard rock/pop metal scene with its edgy verses and soaring chorus. The prominent progressive keyboards do give the song a little something extra that keeps it from being totally 80s. Great song that includes some fabulous riffs!
9. "How Many Tears" - Though it is pretty much a ballad, "How Many Tears" does contain an undercurrent of urgency that eventually leads the song into a heavier area while still remaining a ballad and showcases Vanden Plas' ability to convey a variety of moods through their music.
Colour Temple is a wonderfully fun album full of melody, power and exceptional song craft. On Colour Temple it is clear that the German rockers were influenced by Dokken and Van Halen in the beginning. The strong Dream Theater influences had yet to be added to Vanden Plas' song writing repertoire, but that does not make Colour Temple a lesser album, not at all. If you like 80s hard rock with a slightly progressive feel, you may really like Colour Temple.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 great albums for the price of one!, February 28, 2004
By 
This review is from: Colour Temple (Audio CD)
German progressive metal band Vanden Plas hit the scene in 1994, and the influence of Dream Theater's landmark Images and Words album is strongly felt on their debut album Colour Temple. First albums can sometimes be weak, as the band usually has to work at developing a signature sound, but Colour Temple may just be the band's best album.

Colour Temple is tight, focused, melodic metal with lots of keyboards and progressive elements. It's not terribly heavy, but it's definitely metal. Picture Dokken's Back for the Attack album with prominent keyboards and smarter lyrics. There's enough instrumental technicality to please most progressive metal fans, and paired with incredible melodic songwriting it's almost impossible to resist. Singer Andy Kuntz's vocals are unique, and definitely play a big part in Vanden Plas's signature sound.

Fans of progressive metal bands like Dream Theater, Threshold, and Circus Maximus can't go wrong here. Colour Temple is a great album from start to finish, and an excellent place to start if you are unfamiliar with the band.

NOTE: The Special Edition reissue of Colour Temple is a super deal because it includes the band's stunning acoustic album Accult (which I've reviewed separately) as a bonus disc. Accult's inclusion alone is worthy of a full 5-star rating.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Vanden Plas!, June 30, 2013
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This review is from: Colour Temple (Audio CD)
Vanden Plas have always done high class albums and this is no exception. Prog metal at it's best. So check this out if you're into prog metal or any kind of good music.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Vanden Plas or Eden' s Curse, July 18, 2011
By 
N. Black (South Africa) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Colour Temple (Audio CD)
I love Vanden Plas they are progressive and very entertaining with every project. The Album is great but I must say the new 2011 album is there best to date.

So is anyone else out there close or trying to follow the Hollanders? Eden' s Curse are doing a good job but lack the progression element totally.

So in brief Vanden Plas are great and I know I look forward to a live from them soon...
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Colour Temple
Colour Temple by Vanden Plas (Audio CD - 2010)
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