Kaledon – Altor: The King’s Blacksmith (2013)
Scarlet Records - Running Time 46:13
Power Metal! Which side of the fence do you sit on? Do you find it bombastic, majestic, fantastical and erm powerful or do you consider it repetitive, boring, clichéd and cheesy? I have always belonged in the former group, but in such a saturated market not everything can possibly be considered classic. To me Italians Kaledon are one such band in question. They have a fairly good fan base, produce fairly good material with fairly good artwork and it’s all fairly well received!
After dedicating their first six albums to the ‘Legend Of The Forgotten Reign’ story cycle, album number seven ‘Altor: The King’s Blacksmith’ begins a new saga not only in storytelling, but also for the band as this is ‘probably’ the best thing Kaledon have recorded so far. All the elements are there; Mystical themes, damsels in distress, sword fights, double bass drumming, classically based keyboards, fiddly guitar solos and soaring vocals! Sounds epic doesn’t it? Well...while Kaledon worship at the altar of Rhapsody and Blind Guardian they cannot hold a medieval candle to those bands in terms of song writing ability. It might be the best album Kaledon have made so far, but it’s still only good!
‘Innocence’, ‘Between The Hammer And The Anvil’, ‘Childhood’ and ‘Screams In The Wind’ are all solidly delivered and there is a marked improvement in production quality over their previous albums. All of this will leave your average power metal fan very happy I’m sure, but ‘almost’ nothing makes me want to shout their name from the nearest rooftop like I did when recently reviewing the new Stratovarius album! I say ‘almost’ because final track ‘A Dark Prison’ is another matter entirely. This is indeed a cracker of a song; unfortunately it also happens to be the sole song where Fabio Lione (Rhapsody Of Fire, Vision Divine) makes an appearance supplying guest vocals and the out an out quality of his voice raises this particular track way above the rest.
Kaledon certainly are not a bad band and they have delivered a good album, it’s just not a brilliant one. On this evidence they will be a band that always stays bubbling under the surface and never quite breaking through like they so very much want to!
Written exclusively for Brutiful Entertainment by Rick Tilley - http://www.facebook.com/richard.tilley.351