ANGEL NATION – Antares (2022)
ANGEL NATION, the melodic pop / metal band founded by the classically trained Finnish singer Elina Siirala (also in Leaves’ Eyes) are finally back with their third album “Antares“. The LP is combining catchy melodies, stadium rock and powerful metal tunes together with a flavor of modern synths, while maintaining the depth, both musically and lyrically.
Together, they deliver forty-one minutes of glossy melodic metal mixed with accessible pop and a light symphonic element spread across ten individual tracks, all effective and enjoyable.
“Seraph” starts off with synthesizers that sound off like a vision of twinkling starlight. It’s heavy but, fueled by melodic rhythm and sound that blends with new age synth for a distinct harmony. Elina’s vocals rise from the beginning, bringing a cascade of elusive highs and passionate lows. Solos are plentiful, centralized on strong riffs and expressive detail resulting in jaw-dropping composition.
Blistering guitars ignite the spark in “We Are Fire” that lead the path to a rapidly fueled track of speed and intensity. A metal-fronted track with vocal beauty that swirls like moths to a flame. Headbanging to this track comes naturally, with a talented mix of guitars and drums creating a rhythm of speed and heaviness that’s as infectious as it is spectacular.
Starting with a heavy guitar performance, “End of Innocence” is like a solo on the edge of a snowy cliff. Gentle keys echo into frigid air before the heavy hammer of bass and drums energize the tune. Elina takes vocals to a serene level on this track to truly touch on the song’s title that aids in creating an image of lust, beauty, and the demise of light.
“Crucify Me” has a drum beat that immediately lures you in, sounding off like speeding hoof beats against scorched earth. Gentle sound sways you to be embraced by Elina’s soft voice before desperation comes at you tenfold. Enemies surround, and darkness sets in, as a war of Angels comes to fruition.
A very commercial song, almost melodic hard rock.
Brazenly starting with an untamed guitar solo that stuns is “Face to Face with the Merciless”. This track brings fists into the air and rides to glory; this track is all about the journey rather than the destination, and the journey is filled with love, loss, laughter, and fury.
Ticking the clocks, or the hammer of speeding hooves, “Where’s the Time” is a mystery, with a melody that is difficult to ignore. It’s filled with wondrous synth, tantalizing guitars, and exquisite vocal range.
“Out of Sight, Out of Mind” begins on a Sonata Arctica like beat that quickly turns heads to Elina’s unique vocal low but, it escalates quickly. Musically, it splits expectations, mixing in power metal speed with melodic vocals to create a sound that steps from soothing to near chaotic in execution.
Winding down, the song “Way Back Home” is a metal ballad that focuses on lyrically strength. “Fading pictures, the memories in my heart. Trembling voices tell the stories from the start,” brings passion to the imagination that builds beautifully painted visuals as the song begins. It’s light, truly showcasing Elina’s vocal abilities without mercy.
The final track off the album is, “Where the Future Lies,” that takes piano keys to the start and knocks you back with furious riffs. The sweet vocals are suspicious against heavy-footed drums, moments that wait for the hammer to fall. It’s one of the most musically diverse tracks off the album, portraying the elemental mix of sub-genres with great detail; fearless in touching on the different and relentless.
”Antares” is a solid listen with stories that easily unlock the door to imagination using talented songwriting, elevated vocals, and awe-inspiring instrumentals. It’s an easy add to my melodic metal collection with several tracks already finding their way to repeat playthroughs.
02. We Are Fire
03. End of Innocence
04. Life Is a War
05. Crucify Me
06. Face to Face With the Merciless
07. Where’s the Time
08. Out of Sight, Out of Mind
09. Way Back Home
10. Where the Future Lies
Elina Siirala – Vocals, Keyboards
Julia B. Cadau – Bass
Lucas Williamson – Drums
George “gt” Stergiou – Guitars