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Anthea - Illusion Award winner

Anthea
Illusion
by Kevin Lewis at 13 October 2020, 5:46 PM

ANTHEA is an American Symphonic Metal band from California. Yes, you read that correctly, they are not from the Netherlands, Finland or Sweden. Formed in 2015, “Illusion” is their debut full-length album. With elements of power and even a little bit of the occasional thrash metal tempo, ANTHEA are a killer hybrid. The other notable difference is that they are not female fronted like most of the big-name symphonic bands. “Illusion” will hit the streets through Rockshots Records on October 23, 2020.

“Reach” begins this record with a short intro followed by a very NIGHTWISH sounding launch in the main song. It is very theatric and elegant, oversized and powerful. It is reminiscent of “The Dark Passion Play”. This is a good thing for me as I really liked that album also. With a combination of orchestral and fantasy feels to this, it reminds of soundtracks. Again, the comparison can be drawn to NIGHTWISH. Note, that is a comparison, not a rip-off or copycat.

The second song, “Eclipse”, is not the same as the first. Here, you get some harsh vocals and a much harder, driving beat. Definitely the same band, just a different amount of attitude and another aspect of their collective sound. They can go Symphonic or pPower, which is a nice range to have. “Illusion” seems to straddle the two previously mentioned sounds. Impressive, because this means they have a spectrum of talent, not just a couple of “go to” niches.

“The Expedition” is another really good track that starts with a harsh guitar riff and feels really angry. With a combination of harsh and clean vocals, that theme is carried through the song. This is followed by “Reflections”, a gentle, slower song that has a melancholy tone and somber theme. Never going for power, it has a dramatic lift in the middle that fades to the gentle ending. More expansion on the range of work this band can do. Truly impressive.

Now we mention the song that gets the most work on this album, “Moirai”. The regular version features Chiara Tricarico (ex-LUST FOR OBLIVION, TEMPERANCE, TEODASIA). I mention the regular version because there is also an orchestral version to close record out. As the only song that features female vocals, this song is of note for the band. The contrast feels familiar and welcome with the rest of the album. Her appearance is welcome and again just adds to the sound. She doesn’t dominate the song, just joins in for an awesome ride.

This band is multi-faceted and very talented. They have a shot at being one of the most notable Symphonic bands from this side of the Atlantic Ocean. It will be hard to break through the dominant hold the Scandinavian countries currently have. The addition of the Power Metal elements and the mixture of vocals really highlights the bands talents as players and song writers. Congratulations ANTHEA on achieving one of the better albums for 2020!

Songwriting:  9
Musicianship:  9
Memorability:  9
Production:  8


4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Reach
2. Eclipse
3. Moirai
4. Illusion
5. The Light Divine
6. Discovery
7. The Expedition
8. Reflections
9. Moirai (Orchestral Version)
Lineup:
Juan Pina – Vocals (Scream)/Guitars
Diego Valadez – Vocals (Clean)/Keyboards
Eric Guerrero – Bass
Peter Vasquez – Drums
Marcos Mejia– Guitar
Record Label: Rockshots Records
     


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