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Journey Of Souls
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Keldian
Journey Of Souls
Perris Records
2008
Symphonic Hard Rock
Mark Balogh
www.keldian.com
www.myspace.com/keldian
Rating:
3.5 stars

This new release from KELDIAN seems to have a bit of an identity crisis! Normally that wouldn’t be a good thing but in this case, it’s not a bad thing either. Let me explain…

I have to be honest and say; when I got this CD to review I had never heard of the band before. I came to find out that this is the 2nd release from the Norwegian duo of Christer Andersen (vocals, guitar) and Arild Aardalen (keyboards). Then when I started to listen to the album, I was surprised this was being released through Perris Records because it was not usual sound you’d expect from a Perris band.

Now here’s the part where I talk about the identity crisis. The record starts off with a typical European symphonic power metal feel as the first track, “The Last Frontier,” kicks in. The speedy double-bass drum sound came rushing through my speakers. I thought to myself that this was going to be another one of those releases that I’ve heard a hundred times before. One of the pleasing things I did hear as the vocals came in was the singing wasn’t your typical symphonic metal style. They were of a higher register and a more AOR sounding melodic approach. Comparisons I’d make for the sound of the group are bands like ROYAL HUNT or even an earlier, less heavy version of ANGRA. But as the CD played on I started to hear more varied influences creep into the band’s sound. I actually started to hear a big 80’s synth-rock sound. Acts like a-ha and other 80’s MTV-era groups started to show themselves as the synthesizers and soaring vocals made their presence known.

Songs like “Lords of Polaris” and “The Ghost of Icarus” mixes the more traditional hard rock and symphonic rock sounds in with that synth-pop style but it’s songs like “Reaper” and the epic “Momento Mori” (which clocks in at over 9 minutes!) that I think work the best for the band. The more accessible pop sounds dominate in these songs and make for an interesting listen as they are still backed with an underlying hard edge.

The band also introduces the sound of soaring female vocals into the mix with nice effect. “Vinland” feature those female vocals mixed in with speedy double-bass drum and pompous keyboards making for a real “regal” sound. A couple different female singers are used throughout the record and, like I said, they fit in well.

The rest of the album continues to run back and forth with the different styles I talked of and it really seems to work most of the time for me and makes for an interesting listen. Also, thanks to the engineering skills of Arild Aardalen the sound of the album is top-notch which helps in its overall enjoyment.

I’ll definitely keep an eye (and an ear) out for this band from now on. If you are fan of the above mentioned bands or musical styles or just like something a little different, then you may want to give KELDIAN a try.


Band Lineup:
  • Christer Andresen – Lead Vocals, Guitar, Bass
  • Arild Aardalen – Keyboards, Additional Vocals
  • Anette Fodnes - Vocals
  • Anne Marit Bergheim - Vocals, Mandolin
  • Asle Tronrud - Harding Fiddle
  • Gjermund Elgenes – Vocals
  • Gunhild Mathea Olaussen – Violin
  • H-Man – Drums
  • Jorn Holen – Drums
  • Maja Svisdahl - Vocals
  • Per Hillestad - Drums

 

Track Listing:
  1. The Last Frontier
  2. Lords of Polaris
  3. Reaper
  4. The Ghost Of Icarus
  5. Memento Mori
  6. Vinland
  7. The Devil In Me
  8. Hyperion
  9. God Of War
  10. Starchildren
  11. Dreamcatcher

 

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