Anthea – “Tales Untold”


What began as a small side project by Diego Valadez in 2015, Anthea, an American Melodic Symphonic metal band, is out with their sophomore album “Tales Untold”. The album was released on the 26th August, 2022; and was produced by Diego Valadez, Mixed & Mastered by Jesse Billson. With influences from bands like Nightwish, Kamelot, and Wintersun, as well as scores from composers such as Hans Zimmer, John Williams, and Danny Elfman, the band creates a unique theatrical sound blending progressive, power, and thrash metal elements, with a grand, cinematic edge.

While playing in Cellador, Valadez began writing some original material in his spare time with more symphonic and progressive metal elements. After enough songs had been completed, Valadez decided to enter the studio to record an EP with the help of some lifelong musician friends including drummer Peter Vasquez (Angel Siniestro). The duo brought on board their old friend, Juan Pina (Harpokrate), on guitar and screams. Pina, in turn, brought along his former band mate Marcos Mejia (Warwind) on lead guitar, giving Anthea a much fuller sound. On October 10th of 2015, Anthea gave their first live performance at the Whiskey a Go-Go in Hollywood, CA. Eric “EJ” Guerrero (E.Ject) on bass stood out among the crowd due to his similar musical influences, and background in multiple genres of heavy music. And thus, the official incarnation of Anthea was born.

The album opens up with “Tales Untold” which is a powerhouse of melody, upbeat rhythms and terrific solos on the guitars and keys. The interlude / chorus adds an element of surprise and jostles the song back to its roots. “Ascendence” sets off with heavy guitar chugs paired off with a symphonic soundscape and electronica but what caught my attention was the jaw dropping catchy chorus that gets one grooving. The interlude brings about a short and emotional guitar solo which is a fitting closure to the magnificence of the overall song.

“Song for Winter” has a sense of familiarity which makes one believe it is the true sound for Anthea. It is a rollercoaster ride through and through, be it for melody on the keys, or the sing-along styled chorus or the blitzing guitar solo that’s sure to resonate and leave its imprint on you.“The Deceiver” instantly fills out a cinematic aura which resonates with the heavy growls over maddening guitar chugs. The song toggles between clean and guttural vocals, and has solid guitar duelling with the keys.

“Sapiens” takes on an experimental sound, infused with middle eastern styled melodies with one foot in the past and the other in the future; and takes no time to take the leap and go full throttle as a great progression follows. Just before the guitar solo is neck breaking guitar chugs that’s sort of a favourite and always a good to have. The songs keep getting better as we progress with the album. “Memoriam” takes on to be the ballad on the album, with beautiful looming orchestrated chords and soundscapes that’s layered beautifully over melodic and quavering vocals. The beat is not lost on this track but what astonishes is how grand the song culminates to be, nothing short of a Howard Shore score.

“Looking Glass” goes full ballistic reminding its listeners the exploding and progressive genre the band has moulded, which is a crafty mix of Symphony meets metal hangs out with death metal growls. With “Empyrean” the band decides to take on heavy guitar riffing and digging its way and touching nu-metal before jumping back to its grain, pairing everything to orchestrated soundscape and toggling back and forth bringing a very different take on progressive music. “Sunder Heart” feels straight out of a movie, these guys have it in them to write a good movie score. The marching drums that lead on to the terrific keys and the eventual guitar solo, is just one of the silver linings of listening to this album. It’s amazing how much ground the band covers in such a short span of time.

The album ends with “In Time” which takes a stab and dances with rock and roll and is quite different from all of its predecessors. An amazing way to end this beautiful album. Their first album was very technical and musical nonetheless. But with this album the band has found their soul.

Production – The songs on the album are brilliantly produced. The songs are edgy and a powerhouse of melody.

Conclusion – One thing I remembered from the first album I reviewed was how mature their song arrangements were, and why that’s such a deciding factor for how many listens the album is going to get. They’ve done it again!

Rating: 9/10

Written by: Ankit Sood

Band Members:
Diego Valadez – Vocals/Keys
Juan Pina – Guitar/Screams
Marcos Mejia – Guitar
Eric Guerrero – Bass
Peter Vasquez – Drums

Track Listing:

  1. Tales Untold
  2. Ascendence
  3. Song for Winter
  4. The Deceiver
  5. Sapiens
  6. Memoriam
  7. Looking Glass
  8. Empyrean
  9. Sunder Heart
  10. In Time

Release Date: August 26, 2022

Record Label: Rockshots Records

2020: Illusion (review)

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Video for ‘Tales Untold’

Video for ‘Empyrean’

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