1. "I Can See"
Though this song packs plenty of crunch and excellent musicianship, the over
aggressiveness of the vocal and vocal melodies never quite worked for me. It isn't a bad
song by any stretch and I listen to it from time to time and I do get some enjoyment out
of it, but overall, this isn't one of the band's best songs in my opinion.
2. "Far Off Grace"
Track two slows things down as Vanden Plas flexes their ballad muscles. A lot of bands
annoy me with their ballads, but like Dokken, Vanden Plas writes a good ballad and this
one is no exception. It even gets heavy from time to time. Vocalist Andy Kuntz's power as
a singer is felt here. Kuntz is unlike any other vocalist in progressive/power metal
today. He has a natural higher range but he isn't limited, either. Kuntz's abilities make
this song work.
3. "Into the Sun"
More heavy crunch from the band as keyboardist Gunter Werno provides some very atmospheric
keys reminding me a lot of former Dream Theater keyboardists Kevin Moore and Derek
Sherinian. The wonderful keys and heavy guitar drive this song throughout. Good song that
brings both Dream Theater and Dokken to mind--one of the best songs on the disc!
4. "Where is the Man"
Even more crunch, more excellent keyboards and Kuntz shows his range as a vocalist. He
sings in a lower range in much of the song and it works. Guitarist Stephen Lill plays an
awesome guitar solo towards the end of the song that brings to mind former Dokken axeman
George Lynch. In fact, Lill comes off as a cross between Lynch and Dream Theater guitarist
John Petrucci with just a bit of Eddie Van Halen thrown in. Good song.
5. "Iodic Rain"
This is another powerful rocker in the same vein as "Where is the Man" and
"Into the Sun". Guitarist Lill drives this song as more crunch and engaging
solos are heard. Another good song but, like most of the tunes on Far Off Grace, the vocal
melodies aren't as dynamic and beautiful as they were on The God Thing. Maybe I shouldn't
be comparing the two albums so much because Vanden Plas evolves and changes from album to
album, but I do think catchier vocal melodies would've made this a better CD.
6. "I Don't Miss You"
Track six is a true ballad as Kuntz's vocals are only accompanied by Werno's keys and what
sounds like a viola or cello (the liner notes left this a mystery). Excellent song that
showcases Vanden Plas' strength and versatility as songwriters. The lyrics are powerful as
Kuntz cries "I don't miss you...I don't even love...I want you to die in my
arms." The dichotomy between the anger and love felt after a bad break-up is
heart-wrenching. This is moving song, one of the most moving songs I've ever heard.
7. "Inside of Your Head"
A quiet and ominous guitar greets us as the song opens. It builds and builds until the
entire fury of the band explodes. "Inside of Your Head" drives and crunches
along. The vocal melodies rank among the best on Far Off Grace. Of all the songs on this
album, this one reminds me the most of The God Thing. Superb song!
8. "Fields of Hope"
Very much in a Dream Theater vein, track eight sports the band's instrumental prowess.
Like many of the songs on this disc, Vanden Plas mixes technique with strong song writing.
Especially noteworthy is the awesome chorus that is pure melodic fun. Bassist Torsten
Reichert and drummer Andreas Lill get a chance to shine as a solid rhythm section. Not
that they weren't good before, but this song really showcases their talent.
9. "I'm in You"
This track starts off slow enough with a moving combination of keys and vocals. Reichert's
bass line is really engaging here and it carries the song throughout. This is a good
10. "Kiss of Death"
As if there was ever any doubt, Vanden Plas assures the listeners that the band are indeed
fans and followers of Dokken. In this cover of the Dokken classic, Vanden Plas gets
everything right. The fast pace and excellent guitar work all give tribute to Dokken
without ruining a great song. In fact, Vanden Plas' performance here make their version of
"The Kiss of Death" as good as the original. Strong words, I know, but the boys
from Germany do this cover perfectly. They are able to pay homage to Dokken without