Release DetailsLABEL Sound Riot Records
RELEASED ON 7/27/2005
posted on 11/2005 By:
Excalion play energetic, crunchy power metal. It’s not usually my favorite genre, but they pull off a pretty enjoyable and convincing rendition. If you are looking for catchy, upbeat material with strong choruses, look no further.
The songwriting on this release is competent but not amazing. The riffs are quite enjoyable, though I am used to slightly faster material as far as power metal goes. Excalion certainly keep up a quick tempo, it just isn’t as frantic as the material put out by a number of their contemporaries. Also, this material is extremely heavy on keyboards, an instrument that I am more or less indifferent to, but which often elicits a strong positive or negative response from listeners. The only complaint I had was that the band would occasionally abandon an excellent riff and stray into overly bombastic territory. However, Excalion does a pretty good job of avoiding overly cheesy arrangements, and there was nothing cringe-worthy, which is enough of a rarity considering the genre that I find worth mentioning.
A good singer is pretty much a requisite as far as power metal goes, and Excalion deliver on that front. Their vocalist sounds a lot like the fellow from Sonata Arctica, and he’s definitely above average. The music is pretty technical as well, and some of the solos straight up shred. The percussionist is very skillful, and though he is tasteful rather than showy, his performance is noticeable. Furthermore, though the guitars could have had a tiny bit more crunch, the mix is very balanced and audible.
Power metal is such a niche genre – it seems that the people who like it will enjoy literally every release of the style, while those who dislike it find it utterly unlistenable. Only power metal acts who are doing something really unusual are able to get the attention of non-genre fans, and I don’t necessarily find Excalion absolutely outstanding. However, this is well worth listening to if you like the genre; it is a fun and extremely listenable release with some really cool standout moments.
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