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Epitomizing cheerful, liberating power metal. - 77%

AnalogKid, August 18th, 2013

When I first sampled a few of Galderia’s songs online, I admit to having been somewhat overcome with enthusiasm for it. You see, major chord progressions and uplifting choruses are something that I simply can’t say no to. I ordered Rise, Legions Of Free Men on a whim and gave it several spins immediately, headbanging in glorious fury to what I at first held to be the reincarnation of the old Freedom Call that everyone knows and loves. Now, several weeks later, I return to the band’s EP and cast a critical eye on it for the first time. I am not so boyishly overwhelmed as I once was, and have begun to pry at the chinks in Galderia’s armor.

Galderia is definitely fluffy, fruity, and joyous power metal at its most energetic. Still, I find it more consistently listenable than the Freedom Call concoction that we knew from days past. Galderia’s music moves at a brisk march and features rousing group shouts, and grand sweeping choruses. Overall, it feels like you’re being sung to by a choir (or in this case, a legion) rather than a small band, and is part of the group’s charm. Less charming, perhaps, are the lead vocals, which are fairly rough and untrained. They’re not awful, but they don’t quite inspire the epic sing-alongs that the band is seeking to stir up with their compositions. Lyrics like “break these chains” and “come, my friends!” don’t exactly help the band’s case in this respect, and they certainly don’t score points for originality. In short, you may well end up feeling a bit self-conscious about spinning this in front of friends.

As I’ve stated before, however, this light-hearted and apparently vapid power metal is never as fragile as it may seem. Take it from myself, one who dabbles wholeheartedly in both extremes of the genre (light, upbeat, and soaring; as well as dark, harsh, and heavy): this EP is a keeper, and Galderia are likely going to make some news with their next full-length when it comes out. Along with bands like Last Kingdom and Wisdom, Galderia is working tirelessly to perpetuate the upper echelon of happy power metal epitomized by groups like Freedom Call, Insania, and Power Quest. Just like their predecessors, Galderia proves through emotion, melody, and sheer compositional competency that their music is to be taken every bit as seriously as their darker cousins’, if not their lyrical material.

The title track is an explosion of freedom and unfettered joy. Tracks like this happen from time to time in the genre, but rarely so blissfully ignorant of anything and everything else. Despite the occasional rough bits and the unaccomplished vocals, the intense energy of this track is impossible to ignore. “Seven Stars” reminds me in more than name of Seven Thorn’s most recent effort, and is a very fun track, but less interesting are “Circle Of Illusion” (which is less exceptional and borders at times on being labeled as “filler”) and the brief acoustic closer “Verity”. However, “From Gaia To Galderia” puts on quite a show with its broad and profoundly memorable chorus, and “Land Of Galderia” itself sounds like a royal mess of influences, and yet manages to establish a wholly unique atmosphere for the band’s namesake fantasy world.

You’ve heard the speech before: Galderia isn’t going win over the typical black/death/thrash sourpusses, and anyone who listens to popular music won’t get it. However, those of us with the taste to appreciate it (those who value the lush speedy power metal that Galderia have bursting from every pore) have another worthy debut from a band that, by my reckoning, will have something very good for us the next time around.

Original review written for Black Wind Metal

Partying like it's 1999: Part II - 73%

Andromeda_Unchained, March 4th, 2012

Galderia are a French power metal act who just so happen to be partying like it's 1999. A veritable power metal feast mixing the finest delights of Gamma Ray, Sonata Arctica, and Freedom Call, there is also a slight peppering of almost folk melodies that help set them apart ever so slightly, and remind me of Orden Ogan in places.

As I stated, this is French so don't expect this to be anything more than a campy power metal romp. We have it all, chants, ‘We are the Warriors!', Kai Hansen worship (take a look at "Seven Stars"), double kicked choruses, need I say anymore? Rise, Legions of Free Men is ridiculously upbeat, I'm talking on the level of early Heavenly and Freedom Call upbeat. Take "Land of Galderia" for instance, probably the best song Freedom Call never wrote, complete with the Galderia singer's heavily accented Chris Bay impression.

We even see the band nail Sonata Arctica's Winterheart's/Reckoning Night sound in "From Gaïa to Galderia" which is pretty amusing, and a fairly decent song at that. Overall I should by all means love this, but it really doesn't offer anything I don't already have in my collection. In all fairness to Galderia they play with a lot of passion and energy, and had this come out in the late 90's it would have been right up there; power metal fans are certainly going to want to check this out promptly. As for me, this is a nice try, and it's good to see a few more bands going for this style lately. I just feel Galderia are missing a certain something to make them really stand out.

Originally written for

A supernova of enlightened melodies. - 95%

hells_unicorn, October 26th, 2011

Somewhere enveloped in a cosmic light of another galaxy is the world of Galderia, a world that can't help but remind heavily of another world that made its existence know to us in 1999, namely the Freedom Call domain of Taragon. The same gallant mixture of stalwart adherence to the standards first established by "Keepers Of The Seven Keys", but further tempered with a simpler songwriting formula that would be even more geared towards massive arenas and endless radio play if such mediums were interested in good music. But rather than going the same road of reinterpreting the gospel via a Sci-Fi variation, this recently born French outfit has opted for something closer to Kai Hansen's early 2000s fixation with New World Order theories, save with a slightly less cynical attitude.

It's pretty obvious that few bands have backtracked into the older style of bright melodies, gratuitous speed, and a bombastic heroism since 2005, save perhaps Crystallion. But with "Rise, Legions Of Free Men", Galderia has turned the clock back about 10 years and offered up an utterly astounding display of German power metal orthodoxy with a French accent that should put every band in the genre on notice. Packed in this EP is 5 unadulterated celebrations of high fantasy with an optimistic, uplifting tone that rivals the most wildly upbeat offerings out of Power Quest. This is the sort of album that functions as a wholly collective effort, where the song is the focus, and no dominant personality leading the pack, save maybe vocalist Sebastien whose dynamic and mildly gravely tenor rests in a brilliantly realized middle ground between Kai Hansen and Chris Bay. But even his soaring range is kept within the context of a streamlined song where the chorus towers above any technical showmanship.

It's tough to point to one particular point of brilliance in such a well constructed opus, but for those who like it fast and furious, two obvious candidates for power metal song of 2010 emerge here. The first "Seven Stars" is straight out of the Gamma Ray playbook, particularly that of the bolt of lightning off their 1995 breakthrough album in "Man On A Mission", complete with the semi-operatic quiet interlude at the halfway point. The other in "Land Of Galderia" takes some heavy hints from early 2000s Freedom Call, complete with the transition from spacey keyboard quietness, to a Maiden-like gallop, to a speeding extravaganza of a chorus that all but forces hitting the repeat button before the song has even ended. But it's all just the tip of the iceberg, and the remaining contents on here should not be passed up even for the highlights.

Whoever out there amongst the power metal faithful misses those days in the late 90s where sing-along chorus fanfare and speed metal shared a fairly auspicious union, even amongst harder edged outfits like Primal Fear and Iron Savior, this may be the long awaiting rebirth of that era. This is a band that ought to be receiving love from every single German power metal addict out there, and frankly I dare say that on their first official release Galderia actually upstaged both "To The Metal" and "Legend Of The Shadowking". There's definitely a future for this band, and hopefully they'll see it to fruition without self-destructing.