Athela - _Reliance_
by: Jackie Smit (3.5 out of 5)
Athela is an incredibly difficult act to review. On one hand I want to praise at length the maturity of the Swedish quartet's songwriting, their jaw-dropping virtuosity and their lush and warm production. But close your eyes at any point during _Reliance_ and you would be hard pressed to spot even the slightest difference between Athela and a certain other Swedish act known to some as Opeth. Admittedly the band do attest to their desire to follow in Opeth's already heavily trodden footsteps, but there are limits and Athela are unfortunately several steps beyond the boundaries of acceptable emulation. The effort is certainly commendable, but a marked increase in originality is sorely required for this band to be anything but an afterthought.


(article published 25/1/2004)

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