A new era begins? The B-grade power metal era has already begun
I believe that power metal has been suffering a plague since the beginning of the millennium. Jump on eBay, and under the metal CD link most of what you see is a massive list of albums from lesser known B-grade power metal bands. Along with metalcore, it seems that this is the style that less creative bands tend to find an affinity with. Even some of the better known, pioneering bands of the label get quite repetitive. Bands such as Hammerfall, Blind Guardian and Edguy. When I approached this review, I saw the dragons on the artwork and hoped that Roman band Kaledon, who were formed back in 1998, would be the ones to finally breath some life into this stale genre with their fifth album Chapter V: A New Era Begins. Unfortunately my hopes went amiss, and despite the fact that this isn't necessarily a bad album, it isn't in any way revolutionary. This album continues with the story that was written by guitarist Alex Mele, that has so far spanned across the bands entire discography.
Chapter V... sounds a lot like a Hammerfall album, and they stick very close to the cliché sound that is stereotyped to this genre. The vocals are high pitched and soaring, and the power chords are out in force. Much of the album lacks energy and presence, but there is the occasional oddball moment that stands out as being quite good. Mozul is catchy and flowing, and Return To Kaledon and Undeads Again are epic and powerful, with the former incorporating great double bass drumming and an awesome lead guitar solo. Credit has to be given to Kaledon for their instrumental virtuosity, which can be seen in an atmospheric interlude on Flash In The Sky, and Great Mighty Light is an instrumental only track that goes for almost three minutes. Every song seems to have a little bit of beauty in it somewhere, but something always lets them down, and it may even come down to the mixing and production of the album, which needs to really give the vocalist more volume and presence.
I don't see Chapter V... taking the band to any higher levels. Unless Kaledon can really use their grey matter and further separate themselves from their influences, then they will be forever doomed to remain in the endless list of power metal bands that have only come to my attention because I can get a copy of their latest album for one dollar on eBay.