Released: 2002, Independent
Never one of the bigger hotbeds of heavy metal, Australia has nevertheless given us some great metallic exports over the years. Lately, the country has been putting out a bunch of quality acts with bands like the thrashtastic Dark Order making their presence known. Well now you can add Anarion to that growing list of Aussie metalheads. With their first release, THE JOURNEY BEGINS.... Anarion are set to join the world metal stage.
After taking one look at the album cover, depicting a sword, clouds, and a certain “Lordly” ring, my first guess was that Anarion were a Euro-styled power metal group. While it is true that the band sings about many typical fantasy subjects, their music is more styled towards 80s styled traditional metal, more like Jag Panzer than with Hammerfall or Stratovarius. Twin guitars, pulverizing bass drumming, soaring vocals, it’s all here. Speaking of vocals, Aussie singer Danny Cecati left the band Pegazus to join with Anarion, and then promptly bailed before this album was recorded. As it is, original vocalist (and guitarist) Riccardo Mecchi does all the singing on the album and turns in an excellent performance. He’s got a good range but usually keeps his voice reigned in, giving it a more powerful sound.
Another great element of this band is their ability to write extremely catchy songs, with riffs that stay with you and make you want to listen to the album again. Songs like “Space-Time” and “The Battle of Old” will get you headbanging and singing along instantly. Guitarists Mecchi and Steve Stergiadis do an admirable job of capturing the feel of * insert classic metal guitar tandem here * without being entirely derivative.
Anarion gambles at the end of the album, ending it off with a 4-minute instrumental and a 12-minute epic. Even for a band this obviously talented, closers like that will have you doubting, but Anarion pulls it off perfectly, as both songs are excellent and never boring. Great album guys!