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Cheddar drenched and ready for battle. - 76%

Empyreal, April 30th, 2008

Seriously, how do they do it? I remember reading the description for the band before I got this album: Country of origin was Italy, genre was Power Metal, and their name and album title implied a fantasy based lyrical stance. That did not bode well for the ol Power Metal Bullshitometer, but I went ahead and got it anyway, thinking I'd at least have something fun to bash in a review if things went awry.

Well, all of my suspicions were confirmed. Kaledon play fantasy based Italian Power Metal with fluffy synths accenting everything, double bass runs that pound down on your head like two rabbits doing it doggy style, sharp, melodic guitar harmonies, and a vocalist with a seriously impaired English accent. Oh, and lyrics that sound like they were lifted straight out of any given 80s fantasy fun flick. There isn't much here you haven't heard before, and overall, Kaledon are pretty much everything that most people think every band in this genre is like. They are a living, breathing stereotype, plain and simple, no way around it. They aren't progressive, they don't incorporate dark, horror movie-esque thematics into their songwriting style, and they don't intend to re-invent the genre. Yet if one can get past all of that, Kaledon's Twilight of the Gods is quite an enjoyable album. With well constructed melodic crackers like the shimmering opener "The Holy Water," the pounding and hellishly catchy "Hell on Earth," the sickeningly-sweet quasi-epic "Clash of the Titans" and the melodic storm of "Eyes of Fire," Kaledon remain thoroughly listenable and easily enjoyable for even the most casual of Metal fans, and that is not a bad thing.

Not everything here is perfect, though. The main one is that Kaledon can't seem to go slower and write a real epic. They attempt to do so with "Into the Fog" and "The Fury," which both hover around the 6 minute mark, and it just doesn't work. These songs don't contain the fun-ness or replayability factor of the best ones, even though they are quite competent as melodious compositions - there is simply something lacking there. The ballads suck ass without exception, too, but I never expected anything else. So Kaledon have some consistency issues.

Overall, though, Kaledon are set to be one of your favorite bands if you can't get enough of Rhapsody of Fire, Dragonland and Dark Moor. They aren't doing anything too original, but who the fuck needs that? Recommended to fans of the genre only.

Originally written for http://www.metalcrypt.com