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[ALBUM REVIEW] Caladmor – Of Stones and Stars
Band : Caladmor
Album : Of Stones and Stars
Genre : Epic Folk Metal
Release Date : 30.08.2013
Record Label : Self-released
Caladmor is a band from Pale, Switzerland. The band was formed in 2001. The meaning of the name – ‘dark light’ – is a significant paradox marking the music of CALADMOR.
The band’s first album “Midwinter”, which was released on 2010 via Twilight Zone Records, already made the band quite convincing and successful and now the band continues their musical journey with their second album “Of Stones and Stars”, which features the famous musicians Chrigel Glanzmann (Eluveitie) and the virtuoso Joel Gilardini (The Land of The Snow, Lunatic Fringe and Mulo Muto).
Epic tunes creating epic wideness, thundering guitar riffs and striking melodies meet the vocals of Babs and drummer Maede, leading the listener on a philosophical path through the land of myths from exhilarating heights down to the edge of the abyss.
The band has caught my attention as soon as I read that the new album was going to be released and how I enjoyed the album!
The first song „Curse of the Gods“ greets the listener with an awesome melody and powerful riffs. At first listen, the song has a strong resemblance of the early Ensiferum era – especially the Ensiferum songs “Iron” and “White Storm” . I really loved how the female and male vocals are in perfect harmony; the listener will especially admire the female vocals sung by Babs. I always love metal female vocalists who are a bit different and unique from the typical female singers and Babs can also be counted in this category.
With “The Raid”, the vibe of the album gets a bit ‘harsher’ and the successful and smooth growls sung by Maede definitely matches with the song title.
One song, that can be considered as a highlight is definitely “Dawn of the Deceiver”. The song is special since Eluveitie’s Chrigel Glanzmann took part in it and I think this shows, because the song has a huge Eluveitie resemblance. Furthermore, the clean vocals totally surprised me and I am sure the listener will really enjoy how smooth these vocals are and how they add another flavor to the essence of the band’s sound.
Another highlight of the album, which is also the first video, is “Alvissmal”. Compared to the previous songs and also the rest of the album, this song can be considered as one of the harshest songs along with “Mimirs Born” and “A Nymph’s Lure”. Surely the melodic elements are there but the strong black metal influences make “Alvissmal” and the other two songs quite different and catchy for the lovers of the darker side of metal.
With “Loudine’s Lement”, the listener will – once again- be surely amazed by Babs’ voice. I think this song also represents the symphonic/melodic/folk side of the band and it shows just how diverse and entertaining this album is. Speaking of diversity, something has to be said about “Heralds of Doom”. For a folk metal fan like me, who loves bagpipes and male choirs, this song is just undescribable and it made me shiver for sure. Apart from that, “Taberna Trollis” can be considered as the most joyful song in the album; its fast rhythm and the power of the e-guitars will make the listeners dance and headbang for sure!
Generally, “Of Stones and Stars” is an album full of beauty and diversity. What I liked most about the was how the band managed to create this diversity with the male and female vocals rather than the folk instruments or the e-guitars. While listening to the album, I got that feeling that the female vocals and the clean male vocals/choir, which are truly unique, represented the symphonic/folk/softer side of the band whereas the growls, which resemble the vocals of Chrigel Glanzmann (Eluveitie) and Jari Mäenpää (Wintersun), represented that harshness and brutality and this made the album much more entertaining and catchy. Surely, the same thing can be said about the different styles throughout the album; some songs have black/death metal influences while the other songs have the pure folk/symphonic atmosphere and I think that this is something that Caladmor has successfully managed to do by integrating different styles into their essence.Another thing I liked was the stories told within each song. This is always a plus for me with bands like Caladmor.
“Of Stones and Stars” is definitely one of my favorite metal albums of 2013. I am so glad to have discovered this band. If you love melody, harshness and that folk atmosphere, you will love Caladmor!
Rating : 9/10
- Curse of the Gods
- The Raid
- Of Stones and Stars
- Dawn of the Deceiver
- Laudine’s Lement
- Mimirs Born
- A Nymph’s Lure
- Heralds of Doom
- Taberna Trollis
- Helios Sky
CALADMOR is :
Barbara – Vocals
Maede – Drums, Growls, Clean Voice, Synths
Nick – Guitar
Mäsi – Guitar
Mäcka – Bass