As a follow up to 2014’s ‘Tears of Lust’, released under a different name in EnkElination, comes ‘Aeon’ from relatively new female vocalist led Angel Nation. They boast a familiar sound while simultaneously offering a fresh take on a genre flooded with talented acts. Elina Siirala offers her highly skilled song writing and vocal services to this symphonic metal quartet which, if you have witnessed her abilities with Leaves’ Eyes on their release of ‘Edge of Steel’, you will no doubt have a certain level of expectation. Elina, being cousin of legendary Nightwish keyboardist Tuomas Holopainen, shows that the brilliant musical ability apple does not fall from the branch. In her created works she is flanked by bassist Julia Cadau, drummer Lucas Williamson, and having joined in 2017, Sonny Antoniou on guitars. Antoniou spent time with another symphonic metal act, Annunciation, in a past life. This collection of artists has incredible potential, but how does all this hype translate in the form of delivering a new album? Let’s find out!
A nice soothing keyboard intro and a courageous galloping riff carries us into ‘Burn the Witch’ which, as an opening track, really does a super job showcasing what we had hoped to find with this album release. Strong vocals, great lyrics, fast crunchy guitars and brilliant keyboard accompaniment. ‘Blood on Your Hands’ has an ambiance to it that kind of grows from a sci-fi pick up line, then swiftly cracks into well-crafted edge, then back to ambiance with amazing lyrical focus from Elina, all the while on a journey to a powerful chorus. Angel Nation show their power metal strengths with this track!
‘Breathe Again’ is the second single release offered on the album (the first being the opening track). Overall, I find this track to be mostly positive; however, it feels a slight bit underwhelming after the incredible first 20 seconds, almost like it never really gets as epic as that intro, even while running through the chorus. I would have rather have had the intro guitars be a larger part of the song. ‘Wonder Who You Are’ comes to us as a well-placed change up from what we’ve heard thus far. The first minute pulls you into a false sense of calm, almost as if this was becoming a ballad, but then quickly kicks things up a notch with some near Oratory levels of speed guitars. One of the killer tracks on this release!
‘Farewell’ is another excellently constructed strong point found within ‘Aeon’. The transitions from relaxed symphony to blistering guitars are masterfully choreographed here. ‘Free’ is an emotional rollercoaster from beginning to end. I love the chorus while speedy machine gunning riffs escort in and out. Nice growly vocals from a guest appearance by Omnuim Gatherum’s Jukka Pelkonan offers awesome variety! ‘Enough is Enough’ is likely the most evenly slotted track on the entire album. The structured pacing keeps from beginning to end with strong vocals and a catchy chorus.
‘Music Plays’ is a sweet little overture kind of huddled as a gateway to the final few tracks, it has nice orchestrated moments and makes for a strong ballad. ‘Fireflies’ opens with nice synth-filled keyboards building towards a more upbeat pacing that crunches into excellent marching guitars. The track comes complete with some pleasantly out of the ordinary balance between the general clipping stride of the track’s physique when it enters into the chorus. ‘Destination’ is the final track presented in this offering. It has a decently laid out slow footstep that gradually builds into a chorus climax that really brings everything together.
Overall, this is a highly recommended release by Angel Nation that should not be missed by fans of acts like Serenia, Nightwish, or Oratory. There are moments presented here that are top quality symphonic metal, with the only problematic areas being that some of the tracks feel a slight bit slow measured and, while the payoffs are generally worth it, you’re left in the waiting room a bit too often. That being said, the hype is real, these guys have an amazing future!
Review by Joshua Jaeger
27th Oct 2017
1) Burn the Witch
2) Blood is on Your Hands
3) Breathe Again
4) Wonder Who You Are
7) Enough is Enough
8) Music Plays
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"There are moments presented here that are top quality symphonic metal...the hype is real, these guys have an amazing future!"