Angel Nation – “Aeon”


Angel Nation (formerly EnkeliNation) is back with their second album of hard, symphonic, power metal showcasing the talents of vocalist Elina Siirala (now also in Leaves Eyes).

Angel Nation was formed in 2011 in London by classically-trained Finnish opera vocalist Elina Siirala under the name EnkeliNation (Finnish for Angel Nation).  The story of the band goes back a bit farther when Elina moved to London, UK for vocal studies and fell in love with rock and metal.  In 2011, when her studies ended, she formed the band originally joined by guitarist Shadow (Empyreal Destroyer, Stand Aside) and the first years of the band were spent playing shows around London and enduring lineup changes.  A three song ep was released in late 2012 and in 2014 a video for the song “Tears of Lust” was released which gained the band a following.  Later that year the Tears of Lust album was  released with a headline show at the Underworld in London followed by a slot at the Bloodstock festival and subsequent UK tour.  In 2015, the band played some shows with Leaves Eyes and wrote/recorded Aeon and during this time the band decided to shift the name to the English translation of the band’s name due to ongoing confusion with the Finnish.  Those familiar with Leaves Eyes will undoubtedly recognize Elina as the new vocalist for that band as well and they have a new album slated for release in January 2018.

For those unfamiliar with the band, the opening track, “Burn the Witch” is the perfect introduction to the band and conveniently, also the first video from the album.  Immediately, one notices the amazing vocals by Elina Siirala.  The more I listen to the album, the more I realize there are not enough superlatives to describe the talent.  Her classical training and opera experience is put to full use throughout the album as even in the highest ranges, she manages to deliver a power while conveying a sense of effortlessness.  In terms of style and phrasing in the songs, there is a bit of similarity to Amy Lee of Evanescence but Elina’s brighter tone makes things different.  Unfortunately, for the band, her voice does tend to dominate the listener experience, but the band contributes a very solid symphonic/power metal performance.

Production on the album is flawless in how it manages to emphasize the vocals while not completely obscuring the contributions of the band.   The second track “Blood is on Your Hands” is a good example of this dichotomy.  As the keyboard intro fades, a loud, somewhat rough guitar riff comes in but fades as the vocals start, which leaves ample space for the bass and drums to be clearly heard carrying the song.  Throughout the song, there is that contrast between the smooth vocals and slightly edgy, rough guitar line, which works so well and walks that fine line between under- and over-produced.  Electronic elements add some texture to the song, but with the talent on display, they are not distracting.

For those looking for something like Leaves Eyes, you should probably stick to that band, and there is a good bit of variety on Aeon. “Breathe Again” goes into a bit of a different territory musically, veering toward anthemic hard rock, while “Enough is Enough” brings to mind an updated version of 80’s-90’s pop-influenced hard rock, perhaps something like Pat Benetar. “Music Plays”, one of the longer tracks, is likely one of the more special ones to Elina as her mother plays violin on the track.  The track itself is a showcase for her vocals, symphonic and epic in nature, with strings and orchestral accompaniment, perfectly opened and closed by a lone, haunting piano.

Aeon is one of those albums filled with great songs that are metal enough for metal fans but have a broader overall appeal due to the strength of the songwriting, epic, symphonic nature of the songs and the awe-inspiring vocals.

Rating: 8/10

Written by John Jackson

“Aeon” track listing
01. Burn The Witch
02. Blood Is On Your Hands
03. Breathe Again
04. Wonder Who You Are
05. Farewell
06. Free
07. Enough Is Enough
08. Music Plays
09. Fireflies
10. Destination

Band Members
Elina Siirala -Vocals&keys
Julia B Cadau – Bass
Lucas Williamson – Drums
Sonny Antoniou – Guitar

Record Label: Inner Wound Recordings, Oct. 2017

Weblinks: Website / Facebook

Buy the album here:
Holland: First Paradox
Norway: Nordic Mission

Video for ‘Burn the Witch’

Video (audio) for ‘Wonder Who You Are’

Lyric video for ‘Breathe Again’


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