Angtoria - God Has A Plan For Us All
Are you one of the not so few people out there who are climbing on the walls with anticipation of the new album by Nightwish, which isn't due for one more year? In that case, this should make the wait a little easier. Sarah Jezebel Deva (of Cradle Of Filth and Therion-fame) have teamed up with the two Swedish songwriters Chris and Tommy Rehn, and formed Angtoria. The trio clearly wants to bring the best parts of metal and orchestrated movie scores together on their debut album, God Has A Plan For Us All.
Even though this is the band's first album, the members are hardly newcomers. Which might explain why the production, recorded at Sidelake Studios in Sundsvall, is so damn impressive. The symphonic parts are all programmed, but still sound almost as convincing as when Nightwish brought in a real orchestra for their latest album Once. Still, the biggest asset is Sarah Jezebel Deva's voice, which is mostly of the powerful kind, but also soothing when the time is right. Anyone who thought that her additional vocals on the Cradle Of Filth-albums weren't enough should therefore be curious about this.
Before the guitars entered the picture, Angtoria was originally an all-orchestral project, something you can still sense in the music. This is perhaps the only flaw of the album, since the symphonic elements sometime are merely backed up by the guitars, when it should be the other way around, in my opinion. Otherwise there's not much to bitch about, since the song writing is high calibre all the way through. The title track and I'm Calling are Angtoria at the top of their game, both songs are very driven and the choruses have a lot of bite.
The album also has its calmer moments, particularly in the standout track The Addiction, which certainly would make film composer Hans Zimmer (Gladiator, The Lion King, et al) very proud. Perhaps the brothers should pursue a career in composing movie scores as a side project to Angtoria? The album also includes a Kylie Minogue-cover, which is not as odd as it might seem. Confide In Me isn't one of Mrs. Minogue's better-known hits, and while Angtoria's interpretation doesn't improve on the original, the melancholic song fits their sound like a glove.
We have reasons to believe that God Has A Plan For Us
All will be among the best debut albums of the year when it is time
to sum up 2006, so if this sounds like your cup of tea, don't hesitate
to pick it up.