Artist:  At Vance
   Title: Ride The Sky
   Label: AFM Records

If there is one certainty in this world it is that German Neo-Classical Metaller At Vance will always deliver the goods album after album.  The band are now onto their eighth studio release with 'Ride The Sky', another powerful mix of that classic metal sound with a certain Neo-classical element that works really well and with the vocal might of Rick Altzi leading the way along with Olaf Lenk on guitar, Wolfman on bass and completing the line-up Alex Landenburg on drums, the band have really excelled themselves on this release.

Opening up the proceedings with 'Ride The Sky' and straight away Altzi makes his mark on the album as he carries one where he left off on 'VII', with the guitars of Lenk powering on through whilst the back bone rhythm section of Wolfman and Landenburg keep it real. The album continues its impressive path with 'Burning Like Fire'.  As the wolves howl in the background Link gets this one underway with a towering solo, then Altzi brings those dark Coverdale tones to proceedings and from this point it neo Ė classical metal all the way.

The pace is soon picked up with one of my personal favourites off this very special album 'Torn - Burning Like Fire'.  As the wolf howls in the distance Altzi gets this one underway as only he can and with Lenkís superb guitar playing this is one of the many highlights on what is a great album.

The pace is picked up with another of my favourites from the album 'Last In Line', then the band put their own spin on the classic 'Wishing Well', which is one of the best covers of this classic Iíve heard.  Heavy and gritty without losing any of the songs classic appeal, great stuff.

It's back to the original material with the magnificent guitar fuelled 'Salvation Day', melodic metal at its finest, again with Altzi's vocals the main highlight of the track.  But itís the band neo-classical vibe on 'Vivaldi, Summer 2nd Set' that really sets the band apart from the other melodic metal bands around, as Lenk really goes to town on this one.  It's the four seasons as youíve never heard it before, a sublime piece of guitar work as youíve hear this year.

Itís all guns blazing once more with the excellent 'Power', a track that will have the metal heads breaking out the air guitars for sure, then it's another of my personal favourite from this rather special album the metal ballad 'You And Me'.  This is where Altzi shows off his more mellower side and reminds me very much of Jorn Lande on this one.

It's back to the more neo-classical style that made the band what they are with 'End Of Days', a double kick spectacle from Landenburg igniting this metal spectacle as Lenk shows why he has become one of the finest guitar players in the genre, as he simple burns up the fret board on this one.

The album closes with the magnificent style with one of the finest slice of Melodic Metal youíve hear this year with 'Fallen', a great anthemic metal track that one again shows why Altzi will be high on my list of vocalists of the year,.  The final closer 'Farewell' is an all guns blazing lick frenzy from Lenk which rounds off a great album and one that will show that neo-classical metal is a force to be reckoned with.


01. Ride The Sky
02. Torn - Burning Like Fire
03. Last In Line
04. Wishing Well
05. Salvation Day
06. Vivaldi, Summer 2nd Set
07. Power
08. You And I
09. End Of Days
10. Falling
11. Farewell



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