Wow, the Americans of ARTENSION have already reached their seventh album, titled “Future World“, and the band around keyboarder Vitalij Kuprij and singer John West have stayed very true to themselves, continuing to bring us their neo-classical Metal, which had been the band’s chosen weapon ever since the beginnings, with the keyboard wizardry of Vitalij as integral part.
What’s interesting is that they still are almost in their original line-up, what originally had strongly looked like a project has indeed developed into a real band and that the technical side is beyond criticism with names such as John West, Vitalij Kuprij, Roger Staffelbach, Steve DiGiorgio and Mike Terrana is clear and that continues in the song writing that is strongly influenced by the neo-classical school and also reveals some keyboard-Malmsteen-isms.
The opener “Dark Before The Dawn“ is a genre-typical fast opener with intricate keyboards and the usually strong vocals by John West, which continues almost seamlessly in “The Day Of Judgement“. “Federation“ is one of the highlights of the album, very dynamic, up to thundering double-bass, while the riffing is heavy as it rarely has been. Also in the balladesque terrains they leave a good impression, as proved by “Take Me Into Your Arms“ ”Tree Of Knowledge“ also has balladesque elements, but they gear up dramatically every now and then.
So how likes stuff like Yngwie and SYMPHONY X should also love ARTENSION. (Online November 7, 2005)