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AnthenorA: The Ghosts of Iwo Jima

"Heavy Metal Spirit"

Finding a band like AnthenorA in the power metal scene is a bit rare nowadays. As the genre consistently pushes more and more towards symphonic and self-indulgent keyboard nuances, AnthenorA keeps cranking out raw old school traditional/power metal that is sure to please fans of early U.S. power metal and the NWoBHM movement. Although The Ghosts of Iwo Jima (the band's third full-length) is something that we could've heard 25 years ago, that doesn't take away from the enjoyment that the album provides. The raw sound, excellent musicianship, and soaring vocals (not in the cheesy way) is enough to satisfy many of my heavy metal cravings. This has its shortcomings, but in the end it comes across as a recommendable release to all "true" power metal fans.

The music here is a cross between old school U.S. power metal in the vein of early Savatage and NWoBHM like Judas Priest and Iron Maiden (not surprising, considering AnthenorA began as an Iron Maiden cover band). Although the style was beaten to death in the eighties, not too many bands play this sort of thing today. On one hand, it's nice to hear a modern power metal band without cheesy keyboards and operatic vocals, but on the other hand this album offers nothing that we haven't heard before. Thus, I'm a bit on the fence when it comes to calling AnthenorA a shockingly original act. Regardless of that, The Ghosts of Iwo Jima is still a fun and highly enjoyable album to listen to. There are songs that border on power ballads, there's heavy riff driven pieces, and certainly plenty of excellent choruses. A song like "Pathfinders" is a perfect scenario of the last example. One of the best things about AnthenorA is the musicianship, which is high-quality and professional. I especially have to applaud the raw and gritty vocal delivery from Luigi Bonansea. The man definitely knows how to sing, and I find his style absolutely irresistible.

The production is a bit of a mixed bag. Although I appreciate the stripped-down sound, I feel like it's lacking in a bit of power. The album could be a bit more effective if the guitars and bass had a bit more of a "punch" in my opinion. I may be nitpicking though - the sound is still professional and well-done, regardless of my own personal preferences.

Conclusion:

The Ghosts of Iwo Jima isn't an essential or groundbreaking album in any sense of the term, but it may be worth tracking down for fans of old school power/traditional heavy metal. For the excellent effort and a pleasing result, AnthenorA have earned themselves a recommendable 3.5 star rating. People who are looking for a modern power metal album that isn't covered in heaping piles of Velveeta cheese will definitely find plenty to enjoy here. Recommended!


Track Listing
1. Machine Gunner (4:03)
2. The Sniper (4:28)
3. Valkyria (4:50)
4. The Old Guard (4:45)
5. Enigma (3:51)
6. The War Of The Rats (5:17)
7. Pathfinders (4:43)
8. Her Eyes (5:21)
9. Poseidon (4:43)
10. Leningrad (4:21)
11. A Bridge Too Far (3:53)
12. The Ghosts of Iwo Jima (4:40)

Added: January 5th 2011
Reviewer: Jeff B
Score:
Related Link: AnthenorA Official Website
Hits: 1212
Language: english

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