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Antiquus: Eleutheria

Giving a band a name that's difficult to pronounce is bad enough; making almost an entire CD based on a mutinied ship captain's fictionalized journal entry from 1474 may make you want to give up entirely on Canada's Antiquus before you've even heard the first track from this young progressive/power-metal outfit. Doing so, however, would be regrettable.

Eleutheria is epic but not over the top, boasting a muscular six-part song cycle set on the high seas that seems beyond the capabilities of a band only on its second album. Vocalist Jesse White remains in his range most of the time and doesn't do melodrama, while drummer Andrew Bak realizes galloping double-bass kicks don't necessarily make a metal song better. A dual-guitar attack occasionally gives way to evocative acoustic styling and elevates Antiquus above many of its head-banging peers simply because of the band's thoughtfulness and depth. Rounding out the album are a pair of stand-alone songs that are just as powerful as the concept piece preceding it.

With Eleutheria, the band seems to be making all the right moves, including hiring mixer Larry Anschell (Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains) and mastering magician Goran Finnberg (In Flames, Soilwork). Sail on, Antiquus. Sail on…

Track Listing:
1) I-O Captain, My Captain
2) II-Eleutheria
3) III-Meta Incognita
4) IV-Redemption
5) V-I'm Alive
6) VI-Leaves of Grass
7) Mechanismo
8) KT Event

Added: January 26th 2007
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Cruz Del Sur Music
Hits: 3365
Language: english

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Antiquus: Eleutheria
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2007-01-26 16:26:16
My Score:

The press sheet for Eleutheria states "Vancouver's Antiquus is a band that eclipses the power and prog-metal genres, crafting a sound that can only be described with one work: EPIC."

Well, I don't know about Antiquus eclipsing those genres, but Eleutheria is a solid, anthemic metal album, not unlike something you would expect from Manowar. Featuring over-the-top histrionic vocals, battle-soaked lyrics, canon-blasting rhythms, crunchy guitar riffs and tasty solos, this is some fun stuff. It's a well worn formula but works just fine for the band, as they have crafted eight tight songs that display plenty of power and conviction, and ultimately make for a good listen. Jesse White's vocals soar over the top of quality musical muscle on each piece, and if you have trouble with some of the trappings of many bands of the prog & power metal scene (insane speeds, non-stop chops displays), you can be happy to know that Antiquus stays far away from those normal cliches.

Some may find the lyrics about an old pirate ship a little hokey, but the album sounds great and is delivered with an old school metal mentality that is kind of refreshing. Cruz del Sur Music looks to have a winner on their hands.

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