Kaledon - Legend Of The Forgotten Reign Part II- The King's Rescue
Epic fantasy and melodic power metal hailing from Italy is definitely a fitting description of Rhapsody but in this case we're instead dealing with their countrymen in Kaledon. This I suppose much lesser known band was formed by guitarist Alex Mele in late 1998 and released their first demo about a year later. After some different problems and changes in the line-up, Kaledon signed a deal with Steelborn Records and released their first full length studio album, Legend of the Forgotten Reign Part I- The Destruction in 2002. This is their second instalment in the saga, that's supposed to have a total of six parts. The story written by Mele is briefly about the battles and many wars fought between two different heirs (the good Antillius and the evil Carnagus) to the throne in an enchanted England (of course called Kaledon) somewhere in the early 1300's. Much more can be said about this because it's quite thoroughly think through, but for further reading in the matter I suggest you check out the band home page instead.
But besides basing their music on symphonic power metal
and a fantasy saga of their own and being Italians, Kaledon also musically
have things in common with Rhapsody and that's definitely the epic sense
and speedy touch to the songs. Kaledon however have the guitars more
put up front, the keyboards less prominent and are a bit more laid back
in the symphonic inputs which make them more direct and to the point.
There are also similarities with another Italian symphony metal act,
namely Skylark, and blending them with Rhapsody and inject it with a
little more direct speediness and some bombastic contributions from
Helloween, the music approach of Kaledon is pretty much summarized.
You can also detect Eighties influences and some spoonfuls of British
metal but overall the abovementioned description is the dominating sound
On the level of the actual song-material though, shorter interludes connects the songs with each other and unites the story to the music in the same way as for instance on Blind Guardian's Nightfall in Middle-Earth. These minute long sections contain he typical sounds of for instance galloping hooves, battle sounds and sword clashing, but luckily without any bad pronounced narrative instalments and that's really something in Kaledon's advantage.
On a more detailed aspect, the songs are mostly up-tempo with fast to very fast double-keg furious hammering and I think that especially Valley of the Death, The New Kingdom, New Soldiers for a New Army, Revenge and the 13-minute epic closer The Second Fall are the real highlighting moments on this release. Valley of the Death introduces a more harsh vocal delivery in the verse section and the long chorus is really a memorable one. The New Kingdom is a real fantastic track, that's got a very highly seasoned Helloween/Stratovarius feel and on this number everything falls into place. Great melodic guitar intro, powerful and melodic verse and an outstanding and catchy chorus for me marks the best track on this release. The following New Soldiers for a New Army packs further serious punch with a more power chord based main riff and here the best chorus of the album is presented. Very epic and majestic! With Revenge, Kaledon again delivers a very fast (the fastest on the release), direct and powerful number that begins wonderfully with Wagner´s Ride of the Valkyries before the speed accelerates. On this track Alex Mele dispenses a truly terrific guitar solo in the middle instrumental section and I wonder a little why we had to wait until the 12th song for something so notably great. The epic The Second Fall then put up the shutters quite magnificently and rounds up things the way you could expect when up against a symphonic fantasy metal saga. A spoken intro, many tempo changes, long instrumental passages and angelic choirs and so on.
Kaledon's second instalment is thus a release that should satisfy those of you into the epic fantasy and symphonic power metal concept as long as you don't expect something very out of the ordinary and can accept the fact that the band at least with this release have a bit to go yet before they can rival their other country colleagues. But if Conti can improve his vocals and give a more unvarying performance (obviously he's much better since the debut already) and the band can continue to deliver song-material of this degree (a bit surprisingly I even include the ballads ), the following chapters in this Legend of the Forgotten Reign saga can be even more pleasurable and give this band a little more well-deserved attention. The King's Rescue is basically a very ambitious release and a good album that reveals that the potential is surely there and I really believe that the best from these Italians is yet to come.
also review: Way Of The