Kaledon - Legend Of The Forgotten Reign Chapter 2 - The King's Rescue
Steelborn Records
Epic Symphonic Power/Speed Metal
14 songs (64'22)
Release year: 2003
Kaledon, Steelborn Records
Reviewed by Marty
Welcome back to the land of Kaledon. This new album continues the epic saga which first appeared on last year's Legend Of The Forgotten Reign Chapter 1 - The Destruction. That album introduced the metal world not only to the band but to the enchanted world of England in the 1300's and guitarist Alex Mele's very imaginative story about the battle between 2 heirs to the throne and the many wars and battles fought in the quest for the crown. I liked the story and some of the music on Chapter 1 but based on that album, I didn't think that the future was very bright for this band. Guitarist Alex Mele must have read that review and my assessment of the band as he E-mailed me and asked if I had heard Chapter 2 - The King's Rescue yet. I hadn't and after contacting their label, they graciously sent me the promo for this album (Thanks Mauro!!).

You really have to be a fan of big epics like the Emerald Sword Saga by Rhapsody to really enjoy this band and their music. Similarities to Rhapsody do not end there as the music of Kaledon has the big epic and speedy sound of their fellow countrymen. I also hear influences from Skylark, another Italian symphonic metal band and early pioneers in the genre. With this new album, Kaledon has stepped it up a notch or two with a more heavier sound, a much stronger production and on some tracks, more of a Helloween power metal style.

This whole album is interconnected with short passages containing thundering hooves, crackling fires and sounds of clashing swords between songs much like Blind Guardian's Nightfall In Middle Earth. The story and the atmosphere that this band invokes is pure epic fantasy. Unlike other Italian symphonic power metal bands, Kaledon's music features a more up-front guitar sound and some great riffs rather than just blending the guitar into the mix. All the speed and keyboard symphonic elements are there in full force and a few of the very speedy chorus sections contain some of the fastest hammering double bass drumming that I've ever heard. If speed in your symphonic metal is of utmost importance, look no further than this band. Major improvements can be heard with lead vocalist Claudio Conti's voice over the last album. His voice, although still a little off-key and very heavily accented shows a lot more melody and power with several tracks namely Home and The New Kingdom. Picture a Kai Hansen (Gamma Ray) type of voice with an accent. Home, with it's hypnotic and pounding style uses multiple voice tracks and has an Andre Matos era Angra quality to it. It's a great slower paced dramatic song with some solid melodic and expressive leads. The New Kingdom uses a big Helloween style intro and speedy, off-beat rhythms and some extremely fast drumming. This one has a great soaring chorus and some speedy lead guitar and has my vote as the best track on the album. Claudio Conti delivers his best vocal work on the whole album on this track. The album ends with a 13 minute opus called The Second Fall that features thundering drums, lots of tempo changes and is the sort of epic that is a fitting close to chapter 2 of a 4 part saga.

The biggest improvement with Kaledon on this album over Chapter 1 is with the production. This album has a big crisp sound with lots of bottom end and the guitars have a little more bite to them. Claudio Conti's voice has shown some improvement as well and he really does a great job on a few tracks on this album. Unfortunately, there are still many instances where he's off key or delivers a substandard vocal performance compared with the quality of the music of this band. I really think that with all the talented musicians in Kaledon that he's one of the weak points for the band. I hope he continues to improve with each successive album as he has the range and the voice, it's just his style that needs to improve. Chapter 2 is much better than Chapter 1 and with continued improvements with this band, I think that they could really evolve into a great symphonic power/speed metal band some day. Until then, Kaldeon is really only for the serious fans of the genre and those who like to be carried away to "Enchanted Lands" so to speak!! Great job guys and I'm really looking forward to hearing to Chapter 3 - The Way Of The Light, due next summer.

Killing Songs :
Home, The New Kingdom
Marty quoted 70 / 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 1 - The Destruction reviewed by Marty and quoted 60 / 100
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