Artist: Angel Nation
Label: Inner Wound Recordings
Release Date: 27 October 2017
Reviewed By: Todd Naevestad
It was about three years ago that Angel Nation were first released on the world. Their first album, Tears of Lust, did pretty well for them and this new album, Aeon, is finally here to further their musical influence. Angel Nation is a melodic metal band fronted by classically trained singer Elina Siirala. Still relatively new to metal, the question becomes how Siirala’s classical training helps or hinders the effort to make awesome metal.
Vocals from Siirala really are the most interesting aspect of this album. Her classic training comes through as this ethereal focal point. It weaves itself into the music and becomes an integral part of the sound, not just a vehicle for the lyrics. Her voice is enchanting to listen to and makes me feel like I’m listening to something from a lost world. There is no denying the talent she has and the magic quality to her voice.
And that’s the best I can say about the album. I hate to be overly critical, but Aeon is absolutely dull. From beginning to end, there is not a new idea in it. None of the tracks are memorable, no song has a striking guitar solo or banging drum session. On the whole, it feels like “My First Melodic Metal;” nothing stands out as any originality. Siirala’s voice is great, but it doesn’t add to the metal. While not totally out of place, it doesn’t feel as though her singing was just slapped onto someone else’s music, it feels meaningless. Her metal opera style is something I’ve seen a hundred times before. There are reflections of good ideas sprinkled sparsely throughout, moments or stanzas where it did actually catch my attention, like something interesting was about to happen. The song “Free” is actually relatively okay. But one song does not make up for the whole album. All those moments of promise end up falling flat.
It feels like Aeon lacks passion. There’s nothing in it that tells me anything more about Angel Nation than their press release. It doesn’t feel like real people were involved in the production. Moreso it’s like a metal Markov chain made the album. It sounds fine, like it was recorded professionally, and I will still willingly admit that Siirala is a good vocalist. But those concessions are just cold facts. Looking for the fiery heart of the work yields nothing. If you like Angel Nation already and have been looking forward to this album, then don’t listen to me. Be free to love what you love and know that I can’t dampen that passion for you. And if you’ve somehow stumbled on one of their music videos or heard positive recommendations for them from other voices you trust, then go for it, see for yourself. But for me, this is not something I can recommend. It’s barely interesting and while not a total dumpster fire, I won’t be coming back to it.
Rating: 2 out of 5
Band Recommendations: Visions of Atlantis, Xandria, Sleeping Romance