I’ve been taking the brand new album, Tales Untold, from Anthea, for a spin.  Hailing from Los Angeles, Anthea began as a small side project by Diego Valadez (Cellador). The idea was to simply record a progressive/symphonic metal EP with some friends and that would be the end of things. However, Valadez and drummer Peter Vasquez (Harokrate) realised how much fun they had jamming together that they decided to put together a permanent band line up and began performing live.

This new album was a very DIY project with vocalist Valadez taking on the role of producer and bassist Eric “EJ” Guerrero in charge of music videos and photography.

The album is everything you would expect from a symphonic metal band, but it has more; A bombastic driving beat, grinding riffs, soaring vocals and epic solos, and combining progressive, power and even thrash metal with a operatic, theatrical sound. Not surprising when you read that their influences are Nightwish, Kamelot and Wintersun, as well as Hans Zimmer, John Williams and Danny Elfman.

Valadez has a decent voice, with at times reminding me of some of the greats of this genre like Roy Khan from Kamelot, Michael KiskeHelloween and even Vile Vallo of HIM. The guitarists Juan Pina (dirty vocals) and Marcos Mejia (Warwind) give Anthea a full sound with some brilliant fretwork shown throughout the solos. Gerrero (E.Ject) handles bass and his work with Vasquez is tight.

The album kicks off with the title track, Tales Untold which is a great way to introduce the musical talents of Anthea. A song about art inspiring art.

Song for Winter is a nice ballad that lulls me into thinking it will be almost standard symphonic metal formula, before shocking me back into the tracks with the thrashy The Deceiver. Next up, tribal beats signal the commencement of Sapiens.

Memoriam is a song about the passing of a grandparent and the end of a generation, but living on through the memories of their loved ones.  A beautiful song with a lovely sentiment.

Looking Glass kicks off with more dirty vocals before Valadez add his soaring vocals to the galloping beat. Sounding like Silvio Massaro of Vanishing Point in this song about Galileo.  I really like the mix of clean and dirty accompanying vocals.

The album rounds out with a strong trio of songs in Empyrean, Sunder Heart and In Time.

For me, Tales Untold is well worth a listen with a nice set of strong songs throughout.  The album holds interest right through, with a nice range of songs covering a few genres.

Tales Untold is out now.