Altaria - Invitation
Considering the fact that this band has Jari Liimataninen of Sonata Arctica and Emppu Vuorinen of Nightwish as members, this is incredibly flat. This is supposed to be some kind of melodic heavy metal leaning towards the semi-epic area with lyrics about kingdom and ravens, but I really don't know what to call the ready result of this. A 3rd degree, sleezy whimp-sort of metal? Perhaps that's as close as I get......
It starts with a song that begins with a decent riff, but very soon it shows to be extremely standardized in both verse and refrain, and the interest drops like a stone. As soon as during the following song History Of Times To Come it is almost too much. It's like a parody of every clichee in the metal world with an extremely sleezy beginning - the chorus sung a capella - followed by a dry riff with lousy song building up to the chorus again. By the time I reached Ravenwing during the first listening, I discretly started to look around me (even though I had headphones on) because it started to feel embarassing.
Well, the rest of the album goes on in pretty much the same style. No big differances in neither tempo, nor quality. This is probably the most non-saying metal album I have heard, and you hardly notice the songs pass by. Suddenly it's just over, and you wonder what really happened. The album goes in almost constant mid tempo, with no real speedballs or slow ones.
It's these kind of bands that will once again put fuel on the fire for the people that are spitting on and are dragging this genre (melodic power/heavy metal) in the dirt because it is rumored to be soulless, flat, unoriginal and childish. No matter how I would like to talk them to their senses, this album would not serve as a good example of the contrary. I have no reason to believe anything else than that these guuys sure mean well, but.....man, this stinks. Despite the title, it does not invite to much. Especially not a second listening session.
After the release of this album the singer Jouni Nikula left the band and is now replaced by Taage. That might do some difference since the vocals are one of the worst parts of this album, but it can't save the whole picture because the music is simply not good enough.