A compilation born out of fact that some where having trouble finding the band's first two releases in the years following their release, Divine Invitation presents the “best five” tracks from 2003’s Invitation and 2004’s Divinity, backs them the band's original demos and two new recordings featuring the band’s latest vocalist. As one would expect with the "best of" section, the word "best" essentially means "crapshoot." The winners and losers aren't easy to discern from a wayward album like Invitation and this is reflected in the picks from that album. There is a lot less at stake with the selections from Divinity given that album is a lot more homogeneous from a conceptual and architectural standpoint, but these tracks will only make one hunger for the full album. While sparking an interest in the material that lies beyond this compilation is a good thing, it defeats the original purpose of this compilation which is to act in lieu of the full albums. That’s bad news for this record but good news for the band and its music in general.
Beyond the haphazard selection that presides over the first section of the album, tracks eleven and twelve present one with a glimpse of the future and current vocalist Marco Luponero. In the general sense these tracks are more rock oriented than the European metal-flavored pieces that open the album and act as a prelude to what listeners can expect if they pick up the band’s 2009 release Unholy. The final portion of the disc will most likely only interest the most devout of fans and is interesting and noteworthy for all the wrong reasons. Some of the demos presented (the ones from 2002) are actually better than the finished products found on Invitation. For example, check out "Unicorn (2002 Demo)" and then check out the version that falls earlier on the album. Did they really need to bog down a song to such a point?
Containing demos that are often better than the finished product, a hit-and-miss "best of" selection and two, somewhat skimpy additions, I can't really suggest "Divine Invitation" as a starting point for new Altaria listeners. This isn’t saying the album can’t act as a starting point, it’s just the album isn’t going to appease those that know and eventually experience what lies beyond it on the full length releases.