Altaria - Divinity

Year of Release: 2004
Label: Metal Heaven
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 46:37:00

When it comes to Metal, Finland has an excellent reputation, with bands such as Sonata Arctica, Nightwish and Stratovarius, and their ranks are joined by Altaria, a four piece band who just delivered their second studio album, called Divinity. Formed only 4 years ago, in 2000, they already had their share of line up changes, amongst others Nightwish guitarist Emppu Vuorinen played with the band, but now they have settled on a line-up and are ready for the future.

The music of Altaria can be described as clean, melodic metal, sometimes borderline AOR, even a bit poppy at times, as they remind me in a way to Europe: catchy songs, but less crunchy guitars as you would expect. This disappointed me a bit, as guitarist Jani Liimatainen (Sonata Artica) is an excellent guitar player, and fortunately he does play some really great parts, but mainly the sound is on the level of AOR bands, which might be the reason why they signed to Metal Heaven, which is a division of AOR Heaven. Frankly I wouldn't mind if the band played just a notch crunchier.

Vocalist Taage (Kilpi) has a very good, mid-ranged voice, which fits the music perfectly, but the added backing vocals in the choruses, give the songs the poppy edge. On the other hand, this might help the band get a wider audience, including those who are not "metal-minded," so in a way this might be a good thing. Founding members Tony Smedjebacka (bass) and Marko Pukkila (drums), prove to be the solid foundation and in addition to guitars, Liimatainen also takes the keyboard parts for his account. "Darkened Highlight" is a song as I hoped the entire album would be: sparkling keyboards, heavy riffs and a pounding rhythm section. In the verse, Taage's vocals are also slightly heavier, which sounds pretty good! But what makes this song a killer, is the fantastic guitar solo by Liimatainen! Wow, more of that, please!

Divinity is a good album, with great compositions and clearly these guys know how to play. Still, I think they can do better than this and put a little more metal and less AOR in their music, and maybe the next album will be heavier and show the qualities of the members even more. But, Divinity, also thanks to the great production, is worth your while and the guys of Altaria have enough reasons to be proud of it.

[This review originally appeared June 2004 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]
Unchain The Rain / Will To Live / Prohpet Of Pestilence / Darkened Highlight / Discovery / Falling Again / Divine / Haven / Try To Remember / Stain On The Switchblade / Enemy / Final Warning

Taage Laiho - vocals
Jani Liimatainen - guitar, keyboards
Marko Pukkila - bass
Tony Smedjebacka - drums

Sleeping Visions (demo/promo) (2001)
Feed The Fire (demo/promo) (2002)
Invitation (2003)
Divinity (2004)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin FI

Added: December 5th 2004
Reviewer: Marcel Haster
Artist website:
Hits: 1095
Language: english


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