Later this year, symphonic metal act Visions of Atlantis will join its fellow symphonic metal act and label mate Delain for a roughly two-week tour across North America. The tour, which is scheduled to launch Sept. 9 in Atlanta, GA and to run through Sept. 24 in Los Angeles, CA, will follow a brief European run in April alongside Autumn Bride. Both upcoming tours are in support of the band’s forthcoming live recording, Pirates Over Wacken. The new live recording is scheduled for release Friday through Napalm Records and was captured during the band’s performance at the 2022 Wacken Open Air Festival. The recording is a presentation that VOA’s fans will find mostly positive. That is due in large part to the show’s set list and the band’s performance thereof. This will be addressed shortly. While the set list featured in this recording forms a solid foundation for the presentation, it is only available on CD, which detracts somewhat from the appeal. This will be addressed a little later. Knowing the limited platform presentation of the recording is not enough to doom the recording, there is one more positive to note. It comes in the form of the recording’s audio production. This will also be examined later. Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the recording’s presentation. All things considered they make Pirates Over Wacken a presentation that VOA’s fans will agree is mostly successful.
Pirates Over Wacken, the forthcoming new live recording from Visions of Atlantis, is an interesting new offering from the veteran symphonic metal collective. Its appeal comes largely through it featured set list and the band’s performance thereof. The 12-song set list lifts liberally from the band’s most recent album, Pirates, pulling seven songs from the album. That is a little more than half of Pirates’ own 12-song body. The other five songs were pulled from its two preceding albums, Wanderers (2019) and The Deep & The Dark (2018). Three of those songs – ‘A Life of Our Own,’ ‘A Journey To Remember’ and ‘Heroes of the Dawn’ – are pulled from Wanderers while the two remaining songs are pulled from The Deep & The Dark. It makes sense that on a tour meant to support the band’s latest album, the concert’s set list would focus heavily on said album. Given, it would have been nice, perhaps, to get a slightly wider representation of the band’s catalog, especially considering the band’s catalog spans eight albums. At the same time though, festival shows do not allow bands to perform but for a certain amount of time because they have so many acts on their bills. To that end, the set list is still mostly positive.
The band’s performance of the set list is of its own appeal, what with the emotion and energy that the band puts into each song. The power put forth in ‘Pirates Will Return’ is a prime example of the role of the band’s performance. The emotion in the vocals and the richness of the instruments even considering the melancholy mood that the arrangement sets shows so much focus from all involved. There are also plenty of interactions with the audience by the band members, adding even more to the experience. That is because even as brief as they are here and there throughout the concert, it personalizes the experience for the audience. Even in the performance of ‘Melancholy Angel,’ late in the concert, the energy is so high. The full-on operatic vocals, the power in the instruments, it all comes together to show its own wonderful performance. Between these noted items and the rest of the performances, there is no doubt that the band’s performance of the set list plays just as much into the recording’s appeal as the set list itself.
While the set list featured in Visions of Atlantis’ is a positive starting point for its presentation, the limited platform availability detracts somewhat from the recording’s appeal. In researching the recording fully, it looks to be that Napalm Records is only releasing the recording on audio platforms. The only DVD presentation is a DVD that accompanies the recording’s limited edition expanded audio release. The DVD is not even from the band’s performance at Wacken, though. Instead it features performances by the band of five of its songs taken from the Masters of Rock festival in the Czech Republic. So while audiences will get at least some audio-visual entertainment in VOA’s new recording, it is still lacking in the way of having a full audio-visual presentation of the Wacken concert or even the whole of the band’s set from that other 2022 festival.
Now while the recording’s limited edition presentation is still lacking a full audio-visual presentation of the concert, it does have at least one other positive to make up for that concert. It comes in the form of a full orchestral presentation of Pirates in the form of A Pirates Symphony. Knowing how enjoyable the full presentation is of Pirates what with all of its orchestrations, the full instrumental presentation is certain to appeal to plenty of audiences. Keeping this in mind, while the concert featured inf Pirates Over Wacken is lacking in the way of a DVD or even Blu-ray presentation of the concert, this shortfall is not enough to doom the recording. It just would have been really nice to have had that option, since most audiences really want to fully experience concerts, not just hear them. Knowing this, there is still one more positive to note, and that is the concert’s audio production.
The audio production here is important because it captures so well, the openness of the festival. The airy-ness is there, but also ensures not one aspect of the concert is lost. Audiences will feel like they are right there with the people who were at the concert, taking in the concert with them. That is how well-balanced the sound is thanks to the production. The result is a fully positive general effect and finishing touch to the recording’s presentation. When the positive general effect that comes from the production is considered along with the positive of the concert’s set list and the band’s performance thereof, the whole therein makes for plenty of engagement and entertainment for audiences as well. It would have been nice to have had a DVD or Blu-ray presentation of the concert, but maybe that is a discussion for another time. All things considered the recording proves a presentation that is worth hearing even in its one shortfall.
Pirates over Wacken, the new live recording from Visions of Atlantis, is an interesting new offering from the veteran symphonic metal outfit. That is due in large part to its featured set list. The 12-song set list pulls largely from its 2022 album, Pirates. The band likely had a very limited amount of time to perform, considering festivals only allow but so much time for acts to perform, so to that end, it is understandable. The band’s performance of its set list makes for its own share of engagement and entertainment, too. While the set list and the band’s performance thereof collectively do plenty to engage and entertain audiences, the fact that the concert is only being presented on audio platforms detracts somewhat from the recording’s appeal. That shortfall is not enough to doom the recording, though. Keeping that in mind, the recording’s production works with the set list and the band’s performance to make for more appeal. Those items collectively do just enough to make the recording appealing to the point that it is worth experiencing occasionally.
Pirates Over Wacken is scheduled for release Friday through Napalm Records. More information on the recording is available along with all of the band’s latest news at: