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Angtoria - "God Has a Plan for Us All" (CD)

Angtoria - "God Has a Plan for Us All" CD cover image

"God Has a Plan for Us All" track listing:

1. The Awakening
2. I'm Calling
3. God Has A Plan For Us All
4. Suicide Of My Mind
5. Deity Of Disguist
6. The Addiction
7. Six Feet Under's Not Deep Enough
8. Do You See Me Now
9. Original Sin
10. Hell Hath No Fury Like A Women Scorned
11. Confide In Me
12. That's What The Wise Lady Said

Reviewed by on June 29, 2006

"The album, from beginning to end, is very dramatic, never retreating too much into pure metal, which would have defeated the sound that Angtoria has attempted to build"

Angtoria, the combined efforts of Sarah Jezebel Deva and band members and composers Chris and Tommy Rehn, have stepped outside the traditional metal boundaries by creating a fully orchestral album, “God Has a Plan for Us All,” that still manages to hold onto the members’ metal leanings.

With almost one-hundred-percent clean, non-operatic singing, Deva mangages to set her new project far apart from many of her previous endeavors, including stints with Therion, Mortiis, and Cradle of Filth, where she so often provided operatic backing-vocals. Angtoria, on their debut album, have managed to create a beautiful sound by combing Deva’s outstanding singing voice with traditional metal elements, as well as orchestral arrangements. The album, from beginning to end, is very dramatic, never retreating too much into pure metal, which would have defeated the sound that Angtoria has attempted to build.

The tracks are consistently well done, with most holding a nice balance between the orchestral sound and metal/hard rock. The track “Six Feet Under’s Not Enough” is a little more doomy than much of the album, and if anything here is reminiscent of a Cradle of Filth arrangement, this is it. What little death growling that can be heard on the album comes on the track “Original Sin,” which features an appearance from My Dying Bride’s Aaron Stainthorpe. Also appearing on the album are Cradle of Filth bassist Dave Pybus and Moahni Moana’s Martin Haggstrom, who adds vocals to “Deity of Disgust." "Deity of Disgust," with its mid-pacing and interesting mix of male and female singing, also happens to be one of the strongest offerings on the album. Some of the songs, however, do stray a litlle. The track “The Addiction,” though a beautiful song, is barely, if at all, metal, and wouldn’t be out of place at the end credits of a dramatic movie. Along those lines, the ending track, “That’s What the Wise Lady Said,” also shies away from metal instrumentation, and it is one of the weaker points of the album--the lyrics are flat out cheesy, and for a second I thought a Vanessa Williams cd had somehow replaced Angtoria in my player. Finally, “Confide in Me” is a cover of a Kylie Minogue song. As odd as that sounds, the the track fits in well.

Though Angtoria emits a different sound than that of recently popular female-fronted metal/hard-rock acts, such as Lacuna Coil and Evanescence, they might capitalize on those bands’ wave of popularity. For the listeners of heavier music, however, Angtoria is worth checking out—it’s an excellent musical offering, and should provide a great diversion from the metal norm.

Highs: Interesting genre-bender/many great songs

Lows: The track "That's What the Wise Lady Said" sounds like a Disney song, musically and lyrically

Bottom line: No headbanging here, but an excellent change of pace for metalheads

Rated 4.0 out of 5 skulls
4.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)