Great vocal melodies with anthemic potential, virtuoso guitar and keyboard passages including spectacular solos, in addition to a blistering rhythm section which gives the songs their pace, groove and dynamics: the very ingredients which guaranteed seven brilliant releases in ten years from the American-Swiss cult act Artension and caused a global stir on The End Of Never, the only album by Artension’s successor Angel Of Eden, also inspire listeners on Artlantica’s debut album Across The Seven Seas. Which doesn’t really come as a surprise: after all, Artlantica features three of the most important driving forces behind Angel of Eden in guitarist Roger Staffelbach, frontman John West and keyboardist Mistheria. In addition, Staffelbach and West (Artension, Royal Hunt) belonged to Artension (together with Vitalij Kuprij (now Trans-Siberian Orchestra), among others), and Mistheria has made a name for himself with his collaborations with Bruce Dickinson and Rob Rock.
All three are without a doubt real masters of their trade who have combined their talents to present ten brilliant new songs. Staffelbach describes the result as “powerful, heavy occasionally majestic, grooving, melodious and timeless. Each instrument has its place, none of them sound too dominant, everything has only one purpose – to serve the song.” A perfect description of Across The Seven Seas.
Across The Seven Seas is a prime example of a diverse melodic metal album which combines compositional quality, great technical skill and charisma. Staffelbach comments enthusiastically about his two band colleagues: “John is a fantastic singer, everything he does is over the top, whether live or in the studio. An exceptionally gifted vocalist. It’s in his blood to write great melodies and turn songs into stories. Mistheria, on the other hand is a true artist by all means. I value his skills as a musician just as much as his gift for writing and arranging songs. We blend extremely well, in my opinion he’s one of the most accomplished keyboardists of our time.” Not forgetting Staffelbach himself, who has contributed countless significant impulses to his new band. His unmistakable songwriting and guitar playing, his signature guitar sound and playing style, his persistence and ability to get projects off the ground and produce albums that have been and continue to be the base for the existence of Artension and now Artlantica with their furious debut album.
Staffelbach, West and Mistheria enjoy an excellent reputation among their colleagues and can pick and choose when it comes to selecting their guest musicians: Across The Seven Seas features Dani Löble (Helloween) and John Macaluso (Malmsteen, TNT, Ark) on drums, the bass parts were recorded by Bass Icon Steve DiGiorgio (Sadus, Testament), who also worked with Artension and Angel Of Eden previously. And last but by no means least, Artlantica succeeded in enlisting none less than Chris Caffery of Savatage/Trans-Siberian Orchestra as their guest guitarist. The result of this high-calibre collaboration was mixed and mastered at Tommy Newton‘s (Helloween, Gamma Ray, among others) Area 51 studios, Newton also adding his extensive expertise.
So the world is eagerly awaiting a new band with its experienced members who have never sounded this good before in this formation. As Roger Staffelbach puts it so aptly: “Artlantica‘s music is gritty, excellently produced and absolutely song-oriented. But first and foremost this band consists of musicians who commit to themselves and really want to go for it with this band.” That’s exactly the kind of determination that comes across on Across The Seven Seas!