The floodgate for great power metal seems to still be open. Again we bring our focus back to Italy which is becoming the leading country for power metal. With their debut album “Lost Eden," Altair creates a fantastic new world with great melodies and musicianship. It reminds me of the early albums of Rhapsody of Fire with a touch of Stratovarius. Altair doesn’t really create anything new, but they do take the formula and run with it. They know exactly what they want to achieve and they succeed. This is without a doubt one of the best power metal albums this year.
Right when the album opens up with “Prelude," the listener is transported to a mystical land that is full of mystery and wonder. “Power of the Gods” is the archetypal power metal song complete with blazing guitars and soaring vocals. What sets it apart is the songwriting and how Altair can make a song that actually creates a vivid image in your head. Every instrument and vocal line is perfectly intertwined to create one hell of a song. “Reaching the Dreams” continues the flow from the last two tracks and delivers another winner. It’s melodic as hell and has another great chorus. Simone Mala is an unsung hero of power metal. His range is fantastic and he fits flawlessly with the music. “Fly Away” starts with a riff that sounds like it belongs on Stratovarius’ “Fourth Dimension” which isn’t a bad thing. The chorus in “Fly Away” is one of the best on the album and the rest of the track is pure power metal glory. The guitar solo is very impressive. “The title track, “Lost Eden,” takes the album into a more progressive groove in the intro before having a huge, beautiful chorus. It’s another highlight on the album that continues the flow going. “Freedom is the Key” slows the album down a little. This is the only track on the album that could have had some benefits from being a little shorter. The mood is perfect as is the placement but it just seems to drag on and it doesn’t really go anywhere. “Wind of Changes” brings the speed back up to full throttle and is another great song. The chorus is the absolute best on the album. It’s thought provoking and it’s full of wonder. “Rise to the Moon” is the longest track on the album and it’s full of fantastic tempo changes and guitar work. It’s the most progressive and complex song on the album and also the best. The keyboard is a real standout. “Redemption” is a great closing track that ends the album on an extremely high and epic note. On a side note, the acoustic version of “Wind of Changes” is an incredible version of the song.
“Lost Eden” is everything power metal fans would expect out of an album. It has killer guitar work, killer vocals and a ballad. The world that Altair has created with this album is unparalleled. The album is full of wonder and mystery and begs to be listened to more than once. Every instrument is played with great talent and the songwriting skills rival bands that have been around for twenty years. It’s quite clear that every band member put one hundred percent into their instruments and that they play with a fiery passion for great metal. “Lost Eden” is another great album to come out of Italy and one of the best this year. Altair created something that just might make other bands in the genre shake in their boots. Listen to this now, you won’t regret it.
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