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Altaria - Divinity (CD)

by Eleni Mouratoglou at 07 July 2004, 8:19 PM

Altaria released their debut album, Invitation, last year and they soon became known as a Finnish project including Nightwish and Sonata Arctica members. The project turned into band and Emppu Vuorinen, who was the second guitarist for the live shows, recently left the group due to his obligations with Nightwish.
Invitation, to me, was one of the albums you never get bored of listening to. It's been over a year since I first learned about their existence and songs like Unicorn, Wrath Of A Warchild and House Of My Soul are always in my playlists.
In Divinity there is the same mixture of catchy refrains, extremely melodic compositions and guitars that will claim some space in your memories. Their music is almost exclusively described as Power Metal, but in my humble opinion (and I don't use the word “humble in an ironic way) this band is quite more versatile than the strict term that is ascribed to them. Of course the Power Metal pedestal is obvious throughout the album, in the vocals, the guitars and the atmospheric keys, both played by Sonata Arctica's Jani Liimatainen. But I'm confident that AOR and Melodic Rock fans will also be interested in this band.
Taage Laiho's (ex-Therion and Kilpi) voice, apart from the comfort with which it is brought out, has a pleasant harshness. Jani's riffs in quite some cases are heavy and in others sensitive and smooth. I would prefer the keys to be more absorbed by the whole instrumentation though, because at some points they disorientate the listener. But in Try To Remember and Final Warning the keys undertake the leading role and these are the songs that most resemble Melodic Rock-Metal. The musicians' background comes to the light-the members in Altaria's official site comprise groups like Whitesnake, Danger Danger, Ratt and Van Halen among their favorite artists. And we should keep in mind that Marko Pukkila and Tony Smedgebacka, the founding members had been in a Christian Hard Rock band called Blindside.
Enjoy this recoil between modern Power Metal and Classic Hard Rock and Melodic Metal. The tracks I distinguished are the two mentioned above and also Will To Live and Prophet Of Pestilence.
The limited edition digipack contains a cover of Accept's Balls To The Wall with Andy Engberg (Lion's Share, Dreamsfall) as a guest.

4 Star Rating

Unchain The Rain
Will To Live
Prophet Of Pestilence
Darkened Highlight
Falling Again
Try To Remember
Stain On The Switchblade
Final Warning
Balls To The Wall (bonus track)
Jani Liimatainen - Guitars & Keyboards
Taage - Vocals
Marko Pukkila - Bass
Tony Smedgebacka - Drums
Record Label: Metal Heaven


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