Perris Records so far have rather been known for their Glam Rock and Metal of different sorts, with some Melodic Rock scattered throughout, so when the promo sheet for Norwegian duo KELDIAN talked about AOR in the style of GIANT, ASIA and EUROPE, I was expecting another more or less faceless new AOR act, as there had been so many. But lo and behold, KELDIAN are anything but that!
Instead Christer Andresen and Arild Aardalen are surprising me with something a good bit heavier than AOR mellowness and what a pleasant surprise it is! Surely they retain the immediate catchiness of that particular style, but other than that they stand closer to Heavy and at times even Power Metal and thus creating a quite interesting and appealing sound that hits a spot with me.
Expecting some extensive keyboard carpeting and lush melodies, “Crusader” took me quite by surprise with its driving rhythm and nice crunch and “Heart Of The Sun” takes it even one step further with more great melodies and some double-bass, that’s a start in style and the Norwegians do not let up. They continue to impress with great melodies without turning sappy and also know how to spruce up their songs with mixing up both rhythm and speed to great effect.
“Requiem For The Light” has to be mentioned for its great melodies, “Sundancer” even adds a bit of violin and “Beyond The Stars” once more unleashes great melodies and double-bass at the end, rounding off a great debut album that is so much more than the description by the label might have hinted at. “Heaven’s Gate” should appeal to the whole spectrum of AOR through to Power Metal fans and I am looking forward to more!
(Online August 28, 2007)