After a 12 year wait, the power metal band Kaledon return with Chapter VII in their Legend of the Forgotten Reign saga, beginning a new trilogy based on the series.
Kaledon traces its roots back to 1998 as an idea of guitarist Alex Mele and the band released the first chapter in the Legend of the Forgotten Reign saga in 2002. Through 2010, the band continued the saga culminating in the first six chapters with Chapter VI: The Last Night on the Battlefield. During this time frame the band changed labels a couple of times and then from 2010-2016 the band toured Europe playing with the likes of Lordi and Rhapsody of Fire as well as headlining. Fast forward another 5 years and the band is beginning a new trilogy based on the Legend of the Forgotten Reign saga with the first installment being Chapter VII: Evil Awakens. For this new album the band recruited Nocoletta Rosellni (Kalidia, Walk in Darkness) to add vocals for “The Story Comes to an End” and James Mills (Hostile) adding vocals on “A Strike from the Unknown”. In addition to vocal duties, Michele Guaitoli mixed and mastered the album at Groove Factory Studio.
As one might expect given this is Chapter VII in a power metal saga, the albums opens up with an instrumental track filled with choirs, keyboards, and orchestral elements to set the tone and announce the arrival of the album, which explodes into the very fast beginning of “At the Gates of the Realms”. Even though Kaledon has been around for 24 years and released 11 albums, this was my first exposure to them and being a power metal fan, this album hooked me early in the second track. Michele Guaitoli’s vocals are perfect for power metal, with range and power and smooth delivery. The eerie interlude in the song with harsh whispered vocals and keyboards, breaks up the song nicely and the keyboard and guitar solos are well placed and performances are strong.
“A Strike From the Unknown” continues in the same vein and wastes no time getting into a fast riff with some great keyboard work by Paolo Campitelli adding a twist to the guitar riff. The rhythm section is strong and the production and mixing are perfect for power metal with all the instruments clear in the mix but not overwhelming the vocals. “The Eye of the Storm” opens with a fast drum run followed by some great bass lines delivered by Enrico Sandri, who later takes over for a bit highlighting even more talent in the band. The variety in the song compositions and structure keeps the album interesting and the extra touches like choral vocals and small fills here and there differentiates the tracks.
“Emperor of the Night” has the band slowing things down to an almost sludgy pace with church bells punctuating the opening riff. The song has the band veering a bit toward the progressive side of things with multiple time changes and variations in tone and structure as the song progresses. Expect slower clean guitar sections, choral vocals, fast heavy riffs and be prepared to invest around 8 minutes of time in getting through the song, which you won’t realize until it’s over as it’s that good.
“Dawn of Dawns” opens beautifully with a full choir intro before the band comes in fast and loud. Michele’s vocals begin more quietly but then get louder with choir backing that is beautifully arranged. Later in the song the church bells and choir return in a section leading into guitar solos. This is one of those songs with a soaring chorus that is made even stronger by the full choir backing.
“Life or Death” brings a nice groove to the verse sections, contrasting nicely to the near dirge chorus sections. Michele’s vocals again are different from some of the other tracks on the album and show his versatility. The guitar riffs and solo in this song are definitely a strong point. As if previous guitar riffs were not fast enough, the band picks up the pace even more in “The End of Time”, which also features the full choir incorporated perfectly within the song and lending a cinematic feel.
“The Story Comes to an End?” closes out the album and potentially the saga? I like the question mark in the title and to me that fits with the overall feel of the album and as a listener how you could easily accept another chapter.
Kaledon have delivered a great power metal album filled with aggressive riffs, diverse arrangements, catchy melodies, an epic story, and strong performances, which will undoubtedly land it on many top album lists for 2022.
Written by John Jackson
01. Renascentia Noctis
02. At the Gates of the Realms
03. A Strike from the Unknown
04. The Eye of the Storm
05. Emperor of the Night
06. The Dawn of Dawns
07. Life or Death
08. The End of Time
09. Blessed with Glory
10. The Sacrifice of the King
11. The Story Comes to an End?
Michele “Meek” Guaitoli – Vocals
Alex Mele – Guitar
Tommy Nemesio – Guitar
Paolo Campitelli – Keyboards
Enrico Sandri – Bass
Manuele Di Ascenzo – Drums
Nicoletta Rosellini (Kalidia, Walk in Darkness)
James Mills (Hostile)
Epic Choir by Ottava Pop Choir
Release Date: September 23rd 2022
Record Label: Beyond the Storm Productions, 2022
Kaledon online: Website / Facebook / Instagram / Bandcamp / Twitter
Video for ‘Eye of the Storm’
Video for ‘The Dawn of Dawns’