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This is a joke, right? It must be. Please let it be - 15%

duijffke, April 6th, 2021
Written based on this version: 2020, Digital, MARSprogram (Bandcamp)

Browsing through the Metal Archives on a Sunday afternoon can be very rewarding. For instance, you might discover that there’s suddenly another power metal band on the planet that’s called Excalion. The Excalion you and I know, the Finnish one, plays enjoyable and inspiring power metal like only the Finnish can. It would be unfair to expect the same kind of quality from a new, young band from Canada, but because the band carries the same name as the Finnish power metallers, you unintentionally expect at least something. I know that’s wrong, but still, you would expect a bunch of metal musicians to take themselves seriously in some way if they release a debut album. I would, I know that much. But maybe I’m just wrong, who knows.

I don’t really know if the music that this Excalion plays is any good, because I literally can’t hear it. All I notice are what seem to be distorted guitars, and as soon as the drums hit it’s clear that the person behind the mixing board hasn’t really done a very good job. Is there actually a sound mixer involved here? Probably not, I wouldn’t be surprised if the band just recorded themselves with a phone, then put everything together and tweaked the guitars a bit here and there. The vocalist (although it could be an excited cat just as well) sometimes shouts something but can never, and I do mean never, be understood. He might be singing about death or love, if there are any lyrics at all in the first place. Who can tell? Well, at least the bass guitar is audible. And perhaps the snare sounds better than St. Anger snare?

“Dare the Fiends Path” sounds somewhat fun, although it’s pretty much only the guitars that make the song just about bearable. There’s actually an exciting guitar solo towards the end! Good. The same cannot be said about wannabe power metal hymn “Dragonking”, where the lead guitar gives me the chills and makes me want to put my ears in a soundproof environment as quickly as I possibly can. I’ll have to admit, the band’s timing is quite alright and there might be a little potential hidden in some passages, like in the first seconds of the fast and final song “Beacon of Hope”, but that’s about it. Though I can’t help but wonder what the guy (or is it really a cat?) is singing, but judging by the music on the album I can’t imagine there’s anything decent to be found in the lyrics either.

Canada-Excalion, here’s a tip coming from a guy who likes Finland-Excalion: enjoy playing together, have fun together, whatever, but never give the world another possibility to listen to your music. Ever. Thanks. Now can I have a sticker for sitting through this and wasting half an hour of my life?