Altor: The King’s Blacksmith
After the band’s Legend of the Forgotten Reign series of albums, spanning six chapters and more than 8 years of their career, Italian power metal band Kaledon this year returns with a new album with a new concept, entitled Altor: The King’s Blacksmith. Suitably then, this is my first experience with the band, following them as they embark on a brand new journey.
Innocence reminds one of classical, opera music with the orchestral background and the solo soprano on the track, and this quickly hints towards the band’s style of neoclassical style of power metal. As Childhood begins, I am treated to a strong sense of nostalgia with the band reminding me of my early days of exploration of the metal genre with power metal. While the melodic and catchy riffs of guitarist Alex and Tommaso are rather reminiscent of bands such as Sonata Arctica and Stratovarius, the band also displays some early Helloween and Gamma Ray influences in the speedier segments, especially so on the lead guitars playing of Alex, along with the speedy footwork of drummer Luca. The constant duels between Alex and the keyboards of Daniel also prove to be rather entertaining, allowing each to display their virtuosity on their instruments.
On top of the catchiness and energy in the music, what makes power metal such an attractive genre to me is the charisma of the vocalist, and unfortunately Kaledon falters slightly in this department. While vocalist Marco certainly has his range and versatility, and his vocal execution have a somewhat folkish vibe going on, they unfortunately lack the power that is so characteristic of the power metal genre. However, on the softer moments of the album, his emotive singing fits the music like a glove, and these are perhaps the better moments on the album, such as on the ballad LIllibeth.
Following the theme of the album, the band also includes various moments to keep to the storyline, for instance the sounds of a blacksmith working on the intro of Between the Hammer and the Anvil. The epic feel of the music is also maintained throughout with the usage of symphonic elements, and things like chorus vocals like on My Personal Hero, promising a majestic listening experience with Altor: The King’s Blacksmith.