Altaria - Divinity
AOR Heaven
Melodic Hard Rock / Heavy Metal
12 songs (46'32)
Release year: 2004
Altaria, AOR Heaven
Reviewed by Marty
Finland's Altaria is back but with some line-up changes namely the recruitment of new vocalist Taage Laiho, replacing the departed Juoni Nikula (Requiem) and the departure of second guitarist Emppu Vuorinen (Nightwish) who left due to the demands that Nightwish brought on him. The band will continue as a four-piece but will use guitarist Petri Aho for their live performances. With a new vocalist in the line-up and a newer energetic sound, Altaria finally seems poised to make a name for themselves in the genre of melodic heavy metal.

I really didn't think much of the band's first full-length album Invitation. With the experience and talent that the musicians in this band have, I was expecting something much better. With this new album, Divinty, the band finally has delivered an album of the kind of quality that we would expect from them. It's an album that is both heavy and melodic at the same time with great melodies and solid memorable choruses. The album opener, Unchain The Rain is a great first track and it's rich, melodic heavy metal style pretty much sets the tone for the rest of the album. Will To Live with it's slower pounding heavy style features more great vocal work by Tagge Laiho. His vocal style shows similarities to Paul Di'anno on this track and also on Stain On The Switchblade with it's strong "throaty" nature and just enough raspiness to give it some soul. Prophet Of Pestilence is one of those tracks that blends guitar and keyboard work perfectly and it has the sort of chorus that you will definitely walk away singing. Taage's voice once again shines on Darkened Highlight, another pounding heavy arrangement with yet another solid chorus. Falling Again is a more up-tempo and heavier song and with Sonata Arctica style vocal harmonies, it's truly a standout track. Divine, another solid song on this album I think uses Sonata Arctica's vocalist Tony Kakko on lead vocals. It sure sounds like him but my copy of this album makes no mention of this. Try To Remember sees the band opting for a more "commercialized" AOR sound with it's galloping and orchestrated mid-tempo heavy metal. This track has a more lighter feel but yet the formula works wonderfully once again.

This album is a little "front heavy" with most of the best tracks appearing in the first half of the album. The second half of the album still has good songs overall and you start to see a formula in the band's style, arrangements and approach to songwriting that is pretty much adhered to for the rest of the album. There are really no bad songs here. Every track has a great sound, the production very clear and powerful and the formula for songwriting proves to be a very effective one. Fans of great melodic metal / hard rock with a love for the sounds of the 80's will find lots to like about this album. The band seems to have finally found their groove and with huge improvements in songwriting and vocal performances, this one absolutely blows away their first album. This is one of the better albums that the melodic metal genre has produced so far this year. Great album and kudos to the band for finally delivering something that we all new they were capable of.

Killing Songs :
Unchain The Rain, Will To Live, Prophet Of Pestilence, Darkened Highlight, Falling Again and Divine
Marty quoted 82 / 100
Other albums by Altaria that we have reviewed:
Altaria - The Fallen Empire reviewed by Marty and quoted 80 / 100
Altaria - Invitation reviewed by Marty and quoted 68 / 100
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