Kerion bring the next installment in their epic story, symphonic metal Cloudriders saga with Age of Cyborgs, this time bringing in more electronica elements to go with the symphonic metal and fantasy storytelling.
Kerion was formed in 2002 in Nice, France. Following the release of two demos based on a heroic fantasy story, their first full length was released in 2008, Hold Creatures Quest. In 2010, the band released the follow up album The Origins. By this time the band had received a bit of attention for their symphonic elements and choir directed by Phil Giordana and 2012 saw the release of the first of the Cloudriders saga with Road to Skycity, which was followed up in 2015 with Part 2: Technowars, and now in 2022, Age of Cyborgs, which given all the elements involved and cinematic feel has been dubbed “comics metal”.
Being a continuation of a story, “Riders Theme” sets the stage with some electronica, symphonic elements and narration before “Nova Prime” starts this chapter of the story. Some electronica elements introduce the track before it launches straight into a heavier symphonic metal drive. The combination and trade off in the vocals and epic choir work really well with the song although I’m not really sure at this point if I’m a fan of all the electronic elements. Following this track is one of several intro or transition preludes, in this case “The Mission”, which is a combination of narration and music. “Red Squad” take a more straightforward guitar approach and is followed by the six minute near ballad “One Way Love”, which really doesn’t even get as heavy as a power ballad for most of the track before picking up the pace near the end.
Following the eastern-tinged prelude “The Desert” is “Nowhereland” a faster power metal song with some heavy guitar riffs and a number of twists and turns within the rest of song that in many ways continues along the theme set in the prelude. A fun song that sounds very familiar in terms of pacing and phrasing in the verse sections although what it reminds me of escapes me at the moment.
The epic 10 minute track “Global Annihilation” may be the one track that fully captures the essence of Age of Cyborgs. After some intro sections, there is a great guitar line followed by a strong riff punctuated by the epic choir. The song breaks down for a bit from time to time with bass, drums, keys, choir, and vocals, before the guitars come back. Tempos rise and fall, and the overall mix goes from simple to complicated and back again. A combination of vocalists keep the listener guessing and brief moments of silence allow for some rather significant style transitions that would have been awkward otherwise. This is one of those songs on casual listen will actually seem like several songs based on how many transitions there are and how different they sound, but it works and ends up being the highlight of the album.
Age of Cyborgs is one of those albums you get immersed in and having its run time be 54 minutes certainly helps with that. The combination of strong performances, epic storytelling, metal, electronica and flawless production draw the listener in and hold your attention. Now whether or not you appreciate the combination of electronic elements and symphonic power metal on a concept album is something the listener will have to decide and Age of Cyborgs may be one of those albums best suited for specific occasions rather than frequent plays.
Written by John Jackson
- Riders Theme (Age of Cyborgs)
- Nova Prime
- The Mission
- Red Squad
- One Way Love
- The Desert
- Final Race
- Virtual Rhapsody
- Cyborg Hunt
- Before the Storm
- Global Annihilation
- Electric Requiem
Flora Spinelli – Vocals
Remi Carrayrou – Lead & Rhythm Guitars
Stephane Papasergio – Bass
Additional vocals by Elisa C. Martin (Dark Moor, Fairyland), Raphael Dantas (Ego Absence) and Vitor Veiga (Aquaria)
Record Label: Beyond the Storm Productions
2007: Holy Creatures Quest
2010: The Origins
2012: Cloudriders Part 1: Road to Skycity
2015: Cloudriders Part 2: Technowars
2022: Cloudriders: Age of Cyborgs
Social Media: Facebook / Spotify / Twitter
Lyric video for ‘Final Race’
Lyric video for ‘Nova Prime’