Kaledon – Antillius: The King of the Light (Scarlet Records)

Tuesday, 4th November 2014
Rating: 7.5/10

Too bad they don’t look the part – Kaledon would make an excellent sidekick to Rhapsody, or Rhapsody of Fire, or Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody. (Any one of the three will do.) An Italian outfit who has been around for over 15 years, Kaledon evoke all the necessary “Hollywood Metal” arcs – dramatic keyboards, huffy, fluffy shirt-ed vocals, and themes right out of the ‘ole fantasy books. Certainly nothing that can be done with a straight face these days, but alas, there’s a market…and a place at the roundtable for a band such as this, and album like Antillius: The King of the Light.

Foregoing some of the neoclassical wankery that occasional bogged-down Rhapsody, Kaledon are generally on-point when thrusting their traditional power metal sword, a happening that elevates adventurous, double-bass-jammed cuts such as “Friends Will Be Enemies” and in particular, “Light After Darkness.” Vocalist Marco Palazzi doesn’t have much trouble keeping up either. He’s mostly brash, not at all that nasal (a regular trait of most Italian power metal singers, unfortunately), and comfortably melodic. “Calm Before the Storm” and “The Glorious Blessing” are probably his two best moments; “Calm” being the better of the two and the album’s best cut – a surging, anthemic number that benefits from Palazzi’s boisterous vamping in the chorus.

Shortcomings, as it stands, are obvious, but can be worked around. Epic symphonic metal has a clear and defined box, and Kaledon walks into said trap on more than a few occasions, drawing the “Yeah, I knew they were going to go there” response, but, it’s all in good, chest-y fun. As it stands, Antillius: The King of the Light is right up the alley for the Euro power metal crowd and the sparse few on this side of the pond who like to combine King Arthur and metal of the epic degree.

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