ALBUM REVIEW: Angel Nation – Antares

It’s been five years since Aeon was released, so it’s easy to see why ANGEL NATION’s upcoming offering Antares is highly anticipated. After listening to this release, I can confidently say long time fans will be rejoicing and new listeners will add this to their collection.

Antares is a collection of different elements that will ensure the listener is kept on their toes. There are more cosmic sounding elements in this record, this could be due to the album being named after the brightest constellation of Scorpius. They have captured this well whilst keeping to their core sound. Due to the variety of tracks, it gets one of my rare track by track reviews.

Seraph was first single released leading up to the album release. This wouldn’t be out of place in an eighty’s movie set in space due to how action packed this track is with a touch of those cosmic and otherworldly elements. It sets things off brilliantly for the album ahead.

You better be ready to get moving when We Are Fire starts to play. The pumping guitar riffs and the stunning vocal work communicating powerful lyrics such as “We are fire, fighting to survive”. This track will have its own gravitational pull on you like a comet slingshot around a star, ready or not.

End Of Innocence is vast sounding and encourages you to fully immerse into this beauty. It also proves that you need to stay vigilant with this record as you don’t know what’s coming around the corner.

The title Life Is A War alone provokes a lot of thought and reflection, the epic sounding music arrangements do well to represent this imagery. In particular; the action fuelled beats, powerful guitar work, majestic symphonic arrangements and haunting vocals saying the line “Life is a war, you’re the soldier”. In short, it makes you feel like a space marine about to be deployed into battle.

The galloping beats and folk metal-eqsue melody in Crucify Me had me hooked within the first few seconds. That attention and interest stay piqued for the duration of this track. I can imagine lots of glossy hair swishing from the headbanging as this track plays; whether that be in a live setting or in your living room. On a side note, the synthesiser melody brought The Legend Of Zelda games to mind.

With Face To Face With The Merciless, BON JOVI song Lay Your Hands On Me came to mind at the beginning due to a similar sounding melody. Not that I am complaining as that is a great song. It could also be that this is a future stadium/festival anthem due to the infectious energy this track gives off.

The ticking at the beginning of Where’s The Time is enough to grab your attention. If this track were part of a film, this will be where the protagonist has a lot to do but little time to do it, and is shown in a montage. Fans of the bands may notice similarities to Wonder Who You Are from their previous release Aeon.

Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind was the second single to be released for this album. I was dancing and headbanging within the first few seconds, this continued for the rest of the track. Images of the audience chanting back the title during the chorus comes to mind.

When listening to Music Plays and Fly Away from previous releases, it was clear that ANGEL NATION can create ballads that literally stop you in your tracks. Way Back Home upholds this statement. It is a stunning track; it’s completely stripped of distortion which certainly works for this song. The haunting choral arrangements and symphonies provide a beautiful accompaniment to Elina Siirala’s striking vocals and the evocative piano melody.

It ends on a triumphant note with Where The Future Lies. Like a star collapsing before going super nova in a brilliant flash, it gives us one last blast of their brilliance before ending.

It’s clear from the sounds of this record that ANGEL NATION are ones to be watching out for. The remarkable sounds from this upcoming record is solid evidence of this. Like the constellation it was named after, this record requires your undivided attention.

Rating: 9/10

Words: Lotty Whittingham

Antares is coming to a galaxy near you on 8th April 2022 via Inner Wound Recordings.

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