KELDIAN – Outbound (2013)
The Science-Fiction melodic metal / hard rock fanatics from Norway, KELDIAN, are back with their third studio effort “Outbound”.
Albeit they took half a decade off between their second and third releases, distance does really make the heart grow fonder because after even one listen, you’ll be both aggravated it took so long and celebrating the fact that they are back, and somehow, better than before.
The main core behind Keldian are Christer Andresen (lead vocals, guitars, bass) & Arild Aardalen (synthesizers, vocals), helped by other notable skillful musicians from their country. It’s nothing unusual for great rocking music to come out of Norway. What is unusual, is for a band to be true to the genre, but be original. Keldian has achieved that with their new CD “Outbound”.
The songs are elaborated but get you instantly hooked. Andresen’s vocals are pleasure to listen: clean, harmonic, powerful and really melodic. And there’s something on Keldian’s music that makes them different in the melodic metal / Euro hard rock field; tons of well arranged keyboards & synths.
Apart from the really limpid singing and awesome keys, Keldian use varied guitar timbres and riffs (controlled and precise), intelligent sound samples & effects, and experiments (tastefully) with tonality, resulting in a sound subtly progressive all over. Certainly a different beast for the genre. And a good one.
“Burn The Sky” is a suitably anthemic opening number and one of the most immediately gripping songs on the album. While the riffs shred, it’s the haunting vocal job of Christer Andresen which crowns its melodic finesse.
“Earthblood” is a strong and quite interesting tune, and not one that you’re prepared to hear after the uptempo starter. A slower track, at times stomping and at times glimmering like a mirage, it also capitalizes on Keldian’s reputation for unexpectedly catchy melodies.
“Never Existed” results an existential mental breakdown of a track, a pounding anthem that oozes unease at each turn. Halfway through the song there’s an airy reprieve, with soft keys, yet it builds up to a roaring, precise and emphatic solo.
It seems that Keldian is pissed off at the universe, in some ways. Listening the musically effective “Morning Light Mountain” and hearing lines like ‘I don’t need morality; there is no peace for you and me!’ it’s obvious that whatever is going on with mankind in this universe, Keldian doesn’t think it bodes all that well for us.
Next we have another anthem on “Kepler and 100,000 Stars”. This is one of the fastest compositions on the release, although it’s written with smart tempo changes that temper the edge to something very close to Kansas. A mesmerizing composition with some female background vocals creating a great effect.
“The Silfen Paths” should be the strongest composition on “Outbound”. The pre-chorus / main chorus is awesome, with a pumping spirit reinforced by synths turning it into an Euro Melodic Hard Rock killer track. It’s a long number, with always interesting changes in the middle, but then the moster chorus returns to rock you again.
Rounding out the album, “Run For Your Life” is a quick rocking wonder complete with a short but bright guitar solo, and “A Place Above The Air” has a knack for making a cry of desperation come off as one of the hookiest mid-paced melodic metal tunes you’ll hear this year.
But the guys reserverd for the end another highlight: “F.T.L.” is a terrific, tasteful blend of tempos going from balladry to proggy metal, with uplifting, adventurous lyricism, and the utterly stupendous melody creates an almost spiritual experience.
What can you say about Keldian other than ‘Please don’t go another five years before giving us new music’?
“Outbound” is going to land on a lot of Top 10 lists for the year, that is, if enough people give it a chance. It’s better than the majority of music released this year, and the fact that these cosmic themes come from such unassuming Norwegian dudes is poetically relevant.
“Outbound” is a story of the success of independent music, a prove that bands does not need a ‘big label support’ or a big budget to create some awesome, original rock music.
All you need is talent, and Keldian owns it in large quantities.
01 – Burn The Sky
02 – Earthblood
03 – Never Existed
04 – Morning Light Mountain
05 – Kepler And 100 000 Stars
06 – The Silfen Paths
07 – Run For Your Life
08 – A Place Above The Air
09 – F.T.L.
Christer Andresen – lead vocals, guitars, bass
Arild Aardalen – synthesizers, vocals
Jørn Holen – drums, percussion
Thommie Myhrvold – vocals (7, 9)
Helene Hande Midje – vocals (2, 4, 5, 6)
Kjell Vidar Merkesdal – vocals (4)
BUY IT !