The title of VISIONS OF ATLANTIS's new EP, "Old Routes – New Waters", should ring symptomatic of what fans can expect of it: five re-recorded songs featuring the group's latest vocal duo, Siegfried Samer and Clementine Delauney. Four of the five tracks come from the late Nicole Bogner's tenure in the band, three of which stem from the band's 2004 album "Cast Away": "Lost", "Winternight" and "Last Shut Of Your Eyes". Accordingly, one can either call "Old Routes – New Waters" tribute or gross misconduct. Longtime fans will be pleased to see Werner Fiedler, Chris Kamper and Michael Koren remain in the lineup after their 2013 return en masse. That same year the (lone) senior-tenured Thomas Caser hired Samer and Delauney.
If you're familiar with the Tetris block stacking music, you'll recall it running nearly bar-for-bar through the main melody of "Lovebearing Storm" from "Eternal Endless Infinity" until the song hits its lengthy, if briskly moving progressions in the middle of the seven-minute epic. Siegfried Samer and Clementine Delauney work agreeably together, in particular on the more straightforward rock drive of "Lost". Alone, Delauney hits perhaps a smidge higher in pitch than her predecessors, yet she meets Samer at mid-range when harmonizing with him. When "Lost" strikes its vigorous pound on the trail of deep-digging riffs from Werner Fiedler and Michael Koren, the duo confidently rises up with them.
Delauney fields the fervent ballad "Winternight" by herself, chiming sweetly alongside Chris Kamper's mellifluous piano lines before ramparts of distortion arise, momentarily barricading the song inside its gyrating guitar lines. This version of "Seven Seas", originally released on 2007's "Trinity", takes a couple minutes to hit its stride, but Siegfried Samer and Clementine Delauney haul the slow-building song toward a grand enough apex. Those who appreciated the duo of Melissa Ferlaak and Mario Plank won't find fault with Samer and Delauney's rendition.
It was wise of VISIONS OF ATLANTIS to drop "Old Routes – New Waters" as an EP. Considering the parade of vocalists the band has run through and bearing in mind that this is all re-recorded material, giving Siegfried Samer and Clementine Delauney a trial run to gauge fan acceptance isn't a bad idea. KISS and JOURNEY dropped old classics with newer personnel, partly for the same reason and partly for the excuse to double up the packages. As an EP, "Old Routes – New Waters" is a grand warmup session to polish the band's new recruits in advance of the next LP.