Citadel - Transition
Finnish Power Metal
11 songs (50:45)
Release year: 2003
Reviewed by Jay

We last heard from Citadel earlier in the year with the release of their demo. Just after we reviewed it, they were signed to their Japanese label and have managed to put out a full length before the end of the year. Included on this full length are the tracks from their demo and a bunch of new songs. They are quite representative of the Finnish style of power metal combining galloping beats with keyboards and high vocals. They are in sound and form very similar to Celesty.

Some of the new tracks on this demo are pretty good like the opener “Skeleton Dance.” This song is a good track but there are better opening songs on this album “Into the Vortex” and “A 1000 Lifetimes” both from the demo would have been better choices here. “Into the Vortex” is even pushed to the end of the album and sometimes it is not great to have such a soaring track as the album closer. There is a fair deal of talent put into this music and this can be appreciated by listening to any of the guitar or keyboard work however it seems to be emulating the styles of Stratovarius or any of the myriad Finnish power bands. There isn’t much that sets them apart here in terms of originality. However, they can purvey the formula quite effectively as seen in many of the songs. It does seem that their solos aren’t as complicated as those of other bands. Guitar keyboard dual solos are also conspicuously absent from this album which is a rarity for this style of metal. From the Black Diamondesque “Withered Heart” to the overblown melodramatic ballad “Ocean Girl.” The mold is set and they conform to it well.

The clear killing track on this album is the opener of their demo, “A 1000 Lifetimes.” The skipper is without a doubt the preceding track “Prince of Heavy Metal.” This track is an avalanche of cheese and is one of those songs that taints an album similar to the function of the song “H.M.J.” on the first Dream Evil album. Musically there is nothing wrong with the song but the über over-the-top chorus is hard to stomach. “Inside Four Walls,” while not a Nevermore cover is still a pretty solid track that deserves a listen. It is reminiscent of some mid-90’s Strato. “Touch of Prey” the Japanese bonus song is a mid tempo track with some interesting keyboard soloing. The bonus tracks never outright suck. This song as well as the others from the demo have been re-recorded and sound terrific. The production flaws on their demo which were clearly apparent are gone in favor of some well done mixing. They certainly spent their money well in investing in the best equipment and mixing possible. A little more creativity is needed in the future however. We can only have so many Finnish bands.

Killing Songs :
A 1000 Lifetimes, Into the Vortex, Inside Four Walls
Jay quoted 70 / 100
Other albums by Citadel that we have reviewed:
Citadel - Vortex reviewed by Mike and quoted no quote
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