Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Antillia - Last Starfall (EP) (2013)

Regardless of what language you speak, what language you dream in, there is one language that unites us, time and time again. And by embracing that shared love of music, we can tear down the barriers that divide us in our daily lives. Antillia may be well ahead of the curve on that notion, and should be recognized for a lot more than where they are from. Having just released their second EP, and first since 2010, they have used operatic power metal to circumvent spoken languages, into a different stratosphere of communication and emotion. Much like their vocals, they soar over it all, and rain down on you with surgical precision, and overwhelming beauty. Though only three tracks in length, "Last Starfall" feels like so much more. And whatever you language of choice may be, it almost seems worth while to listen to the album in their native Russian language; only then can you grasp what they put into it, and how intensely they performed these songs. The EP is every bit as mesmerizing as the artwork leads you to believe.

Despite the clear language barriers, the band does an amazing job, right from the onset, of communicating through other means. The neoclassical guitars that open "Shaman" speak the universal language of the riff. They ride up and own the scales, accompanied by a battery of percussion that just doesn't quit. Vocalists Alexandr Kolesov and Elena Belova manage to convey so much power through their delivery, without understanding a single word. They soar of the mix, he in a traditional power metal style, she in an operatic tone that hits the highest notes. The tempo is fast and furious, leaving behind it a trail of fire. The title track, "Last Starfall," is a clear statement of dominance, as the orchestrations take the lead, paired with Belova's incredible range. It becomes clear here, even more than before, that they are playing with a stacked deck, as the duel guitars of Vladislav Semin and Valeriy Ostrikov join the fray, laying waste with sweeping melodies and solos. But the icing on this cake is the final track, a metal rendition of "La Diosa Fredda," taken from the opera "Legend of Atlantis." The two styles, when done right, meld together in a beautiful marriage. Antillia go beyond that, giving you a mind-blowing, over the top performance worthy of a lifetime of listens. The aria on display here is a classic in the making.

While we fully admit that artwork can often open our eyes, and ears, to a band just by first glance, it doesn't always work out this well. Antillia have completed what many would describe as the total package of an album; they've nailed the artwork, the style, the band dynamic, the production, and the ability to be memorable. In music, metal or otherwise, there isn't much left to accomplish. With the right winds carrying their music across the globe, we could easily see this Russian dynamo atop many a Top 10 list come years end. But more than that, more than the recognition they might earn as a result, they should be overjoyed with the EP they've put together. No amount of praise of criticism can ever make or break an album for any true artist. And that is what sets Antillia apart from so many of the bands flooding the globe in 2013; they are artists, creating a piece, much like Jean-Patrick Capdevielle as he wrote his greatest work. Only time will tell of this is their masterpiece, or if things are just getting started. In either event, "Last Starfall" is an album for the ages.


Official Site - http://antillia.info/
Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/antillia.ru

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