Out now on SPV/Steamhammer

Artlantica are a new outfit from Artension members guitarist Roger Staffelbach and vocalist John West, along with keyboardist Mistheria, drummer John Macaluso and guests – Steve DiGiorgio [Bass], Dani Löble [Drums] and Chris Caffery [Guitars].   The observant amongst you will notice half the line-up is that from Staffelbach’s previous outfit Angel Of Eden who released the strong album  “The End Of Never” a few years ago.

Stylistically Artlantica straddle the same musical ground as Angel of Eden and Artension, on occasions to the point that some of the tracks do sound like blantant rewrites (Fight For The Light and Demon In My Mind particularly) , I’d also question why this wasn’t released under the Angel Of Eden moniker too.

Ultimately what we get on “Across The Seventh Seas” though is rather, dare I say it, “safe” melodic neo-classically tinted power metal.  Expect plenty of guitar chugging and appropriately timed synth hits from Maestro Mistheria and double bass hits. It all sounds meticulously constructed and therein lays the issue that it all comes across as too pre-planned and lacking in a spontaneous edge.

Granted, John West can still belt out a tune when he wants too and Staffelbach is as prestigious as ever on guitar but you do get the feeling the band are in their comfort zone a lot of the time with the material missing the energy and zeal of early Artension.

So overall a mixed bag of strong musical performances mixed with an average set of songs.  The production is powerful and all instruments are mixed well, but when its all said and done I really wanted to like this album, yet I feel somewhat disappointed by the end product.

Rating – 70%