Released: 2006, Majestic Rock Records
It’s been four long years since we last heard from Australian true-metal warriors Anarion. Their lineup has undergone the standard upheaval expected of bands that haven’t quite made it yet, including the departure of guitarist Steve Stergiadis following the recording of this album. The other change that is immediately apparent after one glance at the album cover and tracklist is that Anarion is no longer one of the countless power / true metal bands singing about Tolkien-inspired fantasy realms. Given that I gave their previous disc (THE JOURNEY BEGINS…) a 4/5, I was very curious to see how Anarion would fare in 2006/2007.
One listen to opening song, “New Eyes, Old Lies” crushed any doubt: the new version of Anarion crushes the old and is ready to make a mark in metaldom. With Riccardo Mecchi’s powerful and melodic vocals leading the charge, “New Eyes, Old Lies” opens the album by slamming you in the face like a freight train with its chugging riffs and howled vocals. The song highlights the philosophical change in the band: this is definitely an angrier Anarion than their previous incarnation. The album is full of scathing lyrics (“Blind Mortality”, “Greed of Man”, and “Broken Truths”); obviously something has really pissed these guys off!
The band’s change in outlook and lyrical content has clearly influenced their new musical scope as well. Gone are the galloping double-bass riffs and other expected power metal postures that occasionally showed up on their previous work. Replacing them is a more focused traditional (re: ‘80’s) styled riff attack with an increased all around heaviness.
Closing the album is an absolute ripper of a song – “Over the Wall”. It’s a picture perfect traditional ‘80s-metal song with one of the catchiest riffs I’ve heard this year. Apparently included as a bonus track, this song easily stands toe-to-toe with the rest of the album.
Now that the band is deservedly signed to a label (Majestic Rock Records), they are poised to make a big impression and dent a lot of heads. UNBROKEN is just the album accomplish that, and much more. Welcome back guys – it’s been worth the wait.