Kaledon - Legend Of The Forgotten Reign Chapter 1 - The Destruction
Steelborn Records
Symphonic Power / Speed Metal
11 songs (48'24)
Release year: 2002
Kaledon, Steelborn Records
Reviewed by Marty
Kaledon is yet another Italian power metal band that has emerged onto the scene recently. Italy seems to be the breeding ground for these types of bands and although many of them show promise, very few really deliver what it takes to make a mark in a very overcrowded genre. This band really is no exception. Formed in 1998, Kaledon released two demo singles prior to this album, Spirit Of The Dragon and God Says Yes. The B-sides to both these singles all found there way onto this one, their first full-length debut album. The band has recruited a new drummer and a new singer since recording their demos and signed a deal with Steelborn Records in 2001. The album is based on an elaborate concept with the story taking place in England in the year 1376 under the Kaledon reign. The story is a somewhat typical epic and includes evil kings, stories of treachery and deceit, epic battles and of course......dragons (no epic would be complete without dragons!!). The whole story is quite complex and will unfold musically over a series of 4 albums. Part 2 entitled The King's Rescue is to be released this summer with parts 3 and 4 arriving in 2004 and 2005 respectively. Even though this was released last summer, we haven't reviewed it yet and with the pending arrival of part 2 of the saga any day now, here is a review of part 1 of a 4 part saga.

After a very typical orchestrated intro, complete with choirs of voices, the band launches into one of many speedy symphonic power metal exercises that show influences from their fellow countrymen, Rhapsody and Labyrinth. The speediness of Rhapsody and the big epic choruses are abundant on this release. The one main difference is in the guitar sound. Preferring to bring the guitar riffs into the forefront and be more of a driving force than with Rhapsody, the band has opted for a more raw type of guitar sound such as heard on old Helloween (Walls Of Jericho) or older Blind Guardian albums. Some of the galloping rhythms and chord progressions also have classic Iron Maiden written all over it. The band tries to mix up the tempos and dynamics of their songs, throwing in some very chaotic instrumental changes that really don't do very much for the songs.

The lead vocalist for this band has a decent range and sounds a bit like Kai Hansen (Gamma Ray), but he has very little style and coherency. There's many instances whereby notes are held way too long, ending in some very off-key Halford style screams that only serve to irritate the listener in the process of attempting to show off. There's moments when this vocalist is so off-key that it's almost painful to listen to. Production-wise, the album sounds thin and some of the leads are buried in the mix. The band has some good riffs in some of their songs and a couple of good choruses but that's about it. The only track that seemed to stand out is Streets Of The Kingdom. The song begins as a power ballad with a solid chorus and uses some great vocal "rounds" and then speeds up to finish with some great ripping guitar solos.

Overall, for the most part, this band has some talent as evident by the quality of the riffs and some of the changes, but many (if not most) of the songs just aren't that good. Very average and very "I've heard this all before so many times". The one thing that they manage to do is to create a mood or atmosphere and it really does have a story-like feel to it with the sounds of crackling fires, battlefield noises and galloping horses heard between songs. This could be a very good band with improvements in songwriting and major improvements in the vocal delivery style. I like the attempt to create a heavier brand of symphonic speed / power metal as most other bands in the genre tend to bury the rhythm guitar in the mix. It may be the shining light of things to come if they can nail it with their next album. Fans of this genre of metal may like this album but if you pass this one by, you're not really missing much.

Killing Songs :
Streets Of The Kingdom
Marty quoted 60 / 100
Other albums by Kaledon that we have reviewed:
Kaledon - Antillius: The King Of Light reviewed by Joel and quoted 82 / 100
Kaledon - Legend Of The Forgotten Reign Chapter 5 - A New Era Begins reviewed by Marty and quoted 78 / 100
Kaledon - Legend Of The Forgotten Reign - Chapter 4 - Twilight Of The Gods reviewed by Marty and quoted 84 / 100
Kaledon - Legend Of The Forgotten Reign Chapter 3 - The Way Of The Light reviewed by Marty and quoted 80 / 100
Kaledon - Legend Of The Forgotten Reign Chapter 2 - The King's Rescue reviewed by Marty and quoted 70 / 100
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