Altaria - Invitation
AOR Heaven
Melodic Hard Rock / Power Metal
11 songs (42'23)
Release year: 2003
Altaria, AOR Heaven
Reviewed by Marty
Altaria is a new band from Finland formed in 2000 by bass player Marko Pukkila and drummer Tony Smedjebacka. Besides their vocalist Johan Mattjus, their first real recruit came in the form of Jani Liimatainen, the guitar player for Sonata Arctica. What initially was to be a project, turned into a real band. They released a 3 track demo called Sleeping Visions and were forced to call in vocalist Juoni Nikula (Requiem) for a few live shows due to scheduling problems with Johan Mattjus. The chemistry proved to be just right and Juoni Nikula became the permanent vocalist for the band. The band then recorded another demo called Feed The Fire which got into the top 50 on Mp3.Com with 1700 downloads over a 4 week period. They eventually signed with Metal Heaven, a division of AOR Heaven and set out to record this, their first full-length album. Emppu Vuorinen (Nightwish) was then added as a second guitarist for some live shows which worked out so well that he too is also a permanent member.

With a line-up that features Requiem's vocalist as well as the guitarists from both Sonata Arctica and Nightwish, one would think that that alone would be recipe for a great band. The final outcome, although a solid melodic metal band, is somewhat of a disappointment. None of the songs have the majesty of Nightwish, the melodic speediness of Sonata Arctica or the progressive flair of Requiem. Most tracks are mid-tempo riff driven and have a fairly basic structure. The choruses are rich and good and have a certain catchiness to them, but again, nothing very spectacular. The guitar sound is good with most tracks having a fairly fat sound with great tonality and richness but the band never really gets past a lighter melodic metal style. With the two amazing guitarists that this band is blessed with, you'd think that there would be tons of lead guitar playing and lots of lead harmonies. The leads are there and so are some lead harmonies, but nothing we haven't heard before and pretty uninspiring. Track after track we are treated to the same style of song with the same tempo and verse/chorus structure as the ones before it. This band hasn't taken any chances and have played it very safe...too safe in fact.

The songs are all done very well and if there weren't countless other bands doing this sort of music, it might have had more of an impact on me. I actually found this album to not only be uninspiring but a bit boring as well. With the fire power and talent of the band members, I was expecting a real barn-burner of an album from these guys. I'm sure some will not agree but having heard so many bands like this one, it takes something special, a unique twist or sound to really grab my attention (Cornerstone and Last Tribe for example) and these guys just simply didn't do it for me......maybe next time.

Killing Songs :
History Of Time To Come and Ravenwing
Marty quoted 68 / 100
Other albums by Altaria that we have reviewed:
Altaria - The Fallen Empire reviewed by Marty and quoted 80 / 100
Altaria - Divinity reviewed by Marty and quoted 82 / 100
1 readers voted
You did not vote yet.
Vote now

There are no replies yet to this review
Be the first one to post a reply!