Keldian - Journey of Souls
Perris Records
Symphonic Power Metal
11 songs (53:56)
Release year: 2008
Reviewed by Cory
Archive review

Keldian’s second album Journey of Souls (2008) bears a striking resemblance to their debut album Heaven’s Gate (2006). By striking I mean they are virtually identical in construction, style, and execution, with very little to separate the two other than the inclusion of various guest musicians. Therefore if you were a fan of the former, odds are you will find plenty to enjoy on this one, as is the case for me. While I find it to be ever so slightly less engaging than its predecessor, Journey of Souls non-the less possesses massive amounts of charm and the experimental Power Metal feel that placed Keldian firmly on my radar upon my first listen of Starchildren on Youtube last year.

Right off the bat let me state that there is not a single bad song on this album. Each can be listened to repeatedly, and have you nodding along. Opener The Last Frontier is an energetic start, and immediately highlights the strongest quality of this band: an ability to take a simplistic melody and turn it into a bombastic anthem. Nothing about the music on Journey of Souls will wow you from a technical stand point (though they do have their speed moments), yet for the most part it is just so well written and executed with melody and impact in mind that this becomes irrelevant, and that is perhaps what makes them stand out from the traditional Power Metal crowd. Lords of Polaris continues this theme, slowing the pace a bit yet delivering an intoxicating atmosphere. Reaper is yet another example, simple yet memorable. The Ghost of Icarus is perhaps the first true standout of the album, similar in execution to Sundancer on Heaven’s Gate. Yet as soon as it ends we are introduced to the best song Keldian have written to date: Memento Mori. At 9:18 in length, it is certainly their most ambitious track, and it delivers on every level. A somber atmospheric beginning eventually gives way to a driving riff that is as catchy as sin, which then leads to my personal favorite Keldian chorus (which is not unlike picking your favorite child). Eventually this dissolves into an extended instrumental passage, which gives them the opportunity to share a bit more of their musical ability, culminating in a fine guitar solo that caps off a real gem of a song. Remaining tracks follow mostly the same formula already established, but there are standouts. The Devil In Me, with an excellent duet chorus, the bombastic God of War, catchy as sin Starchildren, and closing track Dreamcatcher which is perhaps my second favorite song on the album.

Once again I am very impressed with what this two piece band has accomplished. Arild Aardalen and Christer Andresen have a formula that works to very well, and though I feel production values can grow into something a bit heavier and future efforts will almost certainly require some broadening of the formula to maintain freshness, nothing can take away from just how well done and enjoyable this album is, just like its predecessor. Not just Power Metal fans, but Metal and Hard Rock fans in general can find plenty to enjoy here. Now rumor has it a 3rd album is finally in the works, and that is an event to truly be excited for.

Killing Songs :
Memento Mori, The Ghost of Icarus, The Devil In Me, and Dreamcatcher
Cory quoted 86 / 100
Other albums by Keldian that we have reviewed:
Keldian - Heavens Gate reviewed by Cory and quoted 87 / 100
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