Power Metal…from the States? Yes, it does exist beyond KAMELOT and MANOWAR. However, in CELLADOR’s case, it sounds pretty damned close to European Power Metal. Is this a bad thing? No, since CELLADOR put a great deal of that genre’s bands to tearful shame.
I’ve always believed that the magic number of songs per album should be eight. Anything more is just filler, and anything less isn’t really enough. If a band can nail all eight of those songs, then say hello to a classic album. And that’s exactly what CELLADOR does. Quite simply, this album is positively bursting with melody and catchiness; it permeates every single song on the record. Needless to say, every track is a winner, from the opening riff of “Leaving All Behind” to the epic finale of “No Chances Lost”.
Lately, DRAGONFORCE has been getting a bit of flak for not being “true Power Metal” (which is a little redundant anyway). Personally, I think that claim is ridiculous; so what if their singer sounds like the guy from JOURNEY? I’ve yet to hear JOURNEY sing about hellfire and treks through post-apocalyptic wastelands. At any rate, CELLADOR should be the perfect solution for these people; they do indeed reach DRAGONFORCE-like speeds (awesome blastbeats from drummer David Dahir, by the way), but you’ve got a traditional Michael Kiske-esque voice singing over it. Actually, vocalist Michael Gremio sounds more like EDGUY’s Tobias Sammet in terms of range. And boy is he ever talented!
I know I’m nitpicking, but I guess it has to be mentioned: CELLADOR are very fond of a certain trick. On the choruses of over half the songs on “Enter Deception”, the vocal melody is aped by the lead guitar. It’s a good one, and it certainly adds to the overall catchiness of the chorus, but they use it a tad too often. Oh, and I’m really nitpicking at this point, but the opening vocal scream on “Never Again” would’ve been a lot more impressive if I hadn’t already heard SABATON’s Joakim Brodén nail that same note on “Metal Crüe”.
But ignore these tiny little details! CELLADOR is without a doubt the best new Power Metal band I’ve heard in a while. “Enter Deception” is an absolutely excellent record that any self-respecting fan of the genre needs to buy, no questions asked. It’s clear that these guys are going to be around for a while, so the only question is: can they follow it up with an equally amazing sophomore album? Needless to say, I’ll be eagerly anticipating it…until then, hats off to these Nebraskans!
(Online December 2, 2006)