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[ALBUM REVIEW] Caladmor – The Ragnarök Sessions

Band : Caladmor

Album : The Ragnarök Sessions

Release Date : December 2014

Record Label : Self-released

Genre : Acoustic/folk

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When it comes to folk/pagan metal bands, I have found the acoustic/unplugged albums always fascinating. All those guitar riffs, growls and those harsh elements are just stripped down to beautiful natural instruments and clean vocals, which show another side of the band… and that’s exactly what I felt while listening to Caladmor’s latest acoustic album “The Ragnarök Sessions”.

For those of you that do not know the band, Caladmor is a Swiss epic folk metal band formed in 2001. They have released 2 debut albums so far and this album is the first unplugged record of the band, The stories behind the songs and the melodies were what attracted me to the band and once again, I am captivated by this record as well!

“The Ragnarök Sessions” is loaded with soothing and magical acoustic songs from the world of folk/medieval music. As a matter of fact, when listening to the record, you will already recognize some of the songs such as “Herr Mannelig”or the cover of Gjallarhorn‘s “I riden sa”. In this aspect, I liked that the band covered the popular folk songs in their own unique way. Especially, it was really surprising to see Maede’s clean vocals (listen to “The rare old times”)  in an acoustic album; surely the classic albums of the band did also feature Maede’s clean vocals but combined with the acoustic elements, it surely was an interesting aspect. The major highlight of the album is Babs’ vocals though; she performed an amazing job this time as well and added another touch to the songs.

Musically, the album features the folk instruments such as the bodhran and the whistles – the band even learned to play some of the instruments for this album, which is just amazing in my opinion :D- and I found the album well-produced and really clean for an unplugged record. The album generally has a slow rhythm as well ; the only relatively ‘fast’song is probably “The rare old times”. In this sense, the album is just perfect if you wanna chill and just have a glass of wine (or met :D). Personally, my favorite from the album is “I riden sa”; it’s such an amazing cover!

If you enjoy the old folk songs from the medieval times, “The Ragnarök Sessions” is your answer. Magical, soothing but entertaining as well.. You gotta love it!

Rating: 9/10

Tracklisting:

  1. Krummavisur
  2. John Barleycorn
  3. Under der linden
  4. Herr Mannelig
  5. I riden sa
  6. Neckens Polska
  7. The star of a county down
  8. The rare old times
  9. The Boatman

CALADMOR is :

Babs – Vocals
Maede – Drums, Growls, Clean Voice, Synths
Nick – Guitar
Mäsi – Guitar
Mäcka – Bass

More info :

Caladmor Facebook

Caladmor Official

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An Interview With CALADMOR : “The New Album Can Be Set As A Milestone”

Swiss epic folk metallers CALADMOR released their second debut album Of Stones and Stars on August 2013 and with the release of the album, they have immediately caught my attention. Normally, when it comes to folk metal bands, I have to admit that not all bands are quite unique but what I loved most with Caladmor was the fact that they are female fronted and the diversity in their sound

After reviewing the album, I also decided to do an e-mail interview with Babs (vocals)  and Maede (drums, growls, clean vocals, synth).

Check out their answers below! 😀

Hello! Firstly, congratulations on your new album „Of Stones and Stars“. How do you feel?

Babs:  Hey! Thank you very much – actually we feel very good about the release of Of Stones and Stars. We are especially happy about all the awesome reviews and the fact that our fans seem to love the album as well. We worked almost two years on the album, gave all our time and hearts to it –so we feel of course also a bit revealed that all went that well and the result is convincing.

Maede:  We are happy and a bit tired! 🙂

You guys have recently played a gig with Swiss metallers ELUVEITIE. How has the feedback on the album been in the gig? How was the whole atmosphere?

Babs: Ah it was overwhelming. The audience was amazing – open minded and open hearted – and we rocked our asses off to let them have a great time with us.  🙂

Maede: It was fantastic to play in front of 1000 People! I think people liked us very much, we got a lot of good feedback and sold a lot of merch. 🙂

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It’s been 3 years since you released a new record and I think the band’s evolution can be clearly seen in this album. What changed in these 3 years musically? How did you evolve as a band in this time?

Babs: Well thank you!  Indeed we improved a lot in our instrumental and vocal skills. I feel more confident with my voice now than I did on Midwinter. Concerning songwriting I guess we also made some progress as the songs might sometimes show more depth and emotions than on Midwinter – at least in my opinion.

Maede: Songwriting and arranging have become more complex during the continuous improvements of our skills and experience.  We can also say that we even grew stronger as a ‘family’. We still are quite different when it comes to our personal styles and this explains the variety in our music.

When I listen to the album, a lot of legendary folk/pagan metal bands like ELUVEITIE or WINTERSUN come to my mind. What were your musical influences for “Of Stones and Stars”?

Maede: Well, when I (and the others too I guess) write songs, I don’t have specific bands or songs in mind I wanna sound like, that would be cheap. But bands I most listen to are Ensiferum, Turisas, Amon Amarth, Amorphis, Eluveitie, Therion, Tyr and quite a few others, so I think you are automatically ‘influenced’ by those big bands. 🙂

We try to get our inspiration from not only bands but  different sources;  literature, philosophy, history etc.

Another thing that got my attention is the stories behind the songs; every song tells a story. How did you get inspired for that?

Babs: Well observed 😀  This is truly one fact behind the motivation to call our music “Epic” Folk Metal – the songs are indeed lyrically inspired by some old greek or medieval epic poems. When it comes to tales I kind of never really grew up – I love every kind of tales, stories and mythological legends and since I’m studying German linguistics and literature at the university, I’m happy to come in touch with lots and lots of legends, tales and epic poems, and they often inspire me to make a song or to weave them in our lyrical content.

Speaking of ELUVEITIE, two bandmembers from Eluveitie were also featured in this album. How did you get to work with Chrigel and Päde?

Babs: Actually Päde was only involved on Midwinter (1405 A.D.) while Chrigel only supported us on the new album on ‘Dawn of the Deceiver’ and ‘Heralds of Doom’.

Maede: When I composed ‘Dawn of the Deceiver’, I knew that only Chrigel could play those flutes as I intended to. We know each other from earlier days (a few beers long time ago) and I just ask him if he would play flutes and bagpipes on a few tracks. He liked our songs from the preproduction and consented.

The name of the album is also interesting. What does “Of Stones and Stars” mean?

Babs: Actually it first was the name of the song and then became also the title of the album because we loved its poetic sound. But I really also love the lyrics of the song ‘Of Stones and Stars’ because there are several stories woven into it. Maede wrote the song and came up with a part of the lyrics. His first intention was to make a song inspired by the fable of the greek philosopher Thales of Miletus who fell into a well because he did observe the stars while walking, not taking care what was lying in front of him (so the ‘stones’ in the title of the song are metaphoric for the wall). We changed the meaning of this a bit into “When you look upon the stars, you realize you are nothing compared.” We added also some other aspects to the lyrics, for example such as “free your mind from all that dies”, which is reminding of the baroque Vanitas poetry (memento mori).

What is your personal favorite from “Of Stones and Stars”?

Babs: Hmm that’s a difficult one! 🙂  ‘Mimirs Born’ is the one I love most to do on stage because of its energy and the singing passages. ‘Helios Sky’ also means a lot to me because I wrote the whole choir and I just love how the result is sounding. And ‘A Nymph’s Lure’ is the most interesting song to sing as it demands a certain interpretation of the Nymph done by the vocals.

Maede: I like all songs very much. ‘Of stones and stars’ and ‘Alvissmal’ are great. I really love Babs’ vocals on ‘A Nymph’s Lure’ and on ‘Laudine’s Lament’.

A lot of fans will wonder about the touring schedule for sure. Is there a possibility of a tour in Europe? I would personally love to see you play in Germany!

Babs: Sure we would love to tour through Europe! We already checked some possibilities and as usual it unfortunately is a question of money which we do not have. So we’re thinking about a crowd funding action to collect some and conquer at least our neighbor countries! Would be a blast of course!

You guys are from Switzerland, which is a country that is kind-of known when folk metal is considered. What can you say about the Swiss metal scene?

Maede: The good thing about the swiss metal scene is that it is very small, the bad thing is that it’s quite intolerant and not very open. Most people just listen to death and thrash metal. For some idiots, female fronted metal is still not real metal, that’s just bullshit. But we made the experience, that our fanbase is constantly growing and very loyal, so we stick to them!

A big problem is also the organizers. You always see the big names on stage and you have no chance as a ‘smaller’ band to play on big stages, if you don’t have very good connections and lots of money. And quite a lot of organizers book only death/thrash and black metal as I said before.

CALADMOR has a long history; you guys have been formed in 2001 and it’s been 12 years now. When you look back, what can you say about the biggest achievement on your career so far?

Babs: Yes it is a long history indeed. I think the new album can be set as a milestone as we really feel comfortable with it, feeling that we have made an album that is really representing us.

What lies in the future of the band? Do you have any plans?

Babs: Yes, one plan is as mentioned to tour different countries outside Switzerland. Caladmor wants to see the world! 🙂 Also we plan to write new songs, Maede has already some stuff in mind. And who knows, maybe there will some side projects, too…

Lastly, what do you wanna say to your fans? 🙂

Babs: Hey ya crazy fellows out there! We’re coming to get you as soon as possible with one of our shows!! Thank you for all your support so far! Keep visiting us in our virtual homes for any news from the Caladmorian lands.

Thanks to :  Babs, Maede from Caladmor and Markus Eck from Metalmessage! 🙂

http://www.caladmor.ch
http://www.facebook.com/Caladmor

[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

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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!

Album Review

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

Tracklisting :

  1. Curse of the Gods
  2. The Raid
  3. Of Stones and Stars
  4. Dawn of the Deceiver
  5. Alvissmal
  6. Laudine’s Lement
  7. Mimirs Born
  8. A Nymph’s Lure
  9. Heralds of Doom
  10. Taberna Trollis
  11. Helios Sky

CALADMOR is :

Barbara – Vocals
Maede – Drums, Growls, Clean Voice, Synths
Nick – Guitar
Mäsi – Guitar
Mäcka – Bass

http://www.caladmor.ch

CALADMOR – Reveal New Video “Alvíssmál”

Swiss epic folk metallers CALADMOR have revealed the new video “Alvíssmál” from their upcoming full-length album Of Stones and Stairs, which will be released on August 30, 2013 . Check out the video below!

‘Alvíssmál’ is part of the Poetic Edda (13th Century) and tells the story of the dwarf Alvíss, coming to Thor’s home where a great feast is taking place. 

Alvíss lets Thor know that he got engaged with Thor’s daughter while Thor was away. 

Thor’s not amused about that as he has never given his agreement to the affiance, but Alvíss insists on taking Thor’s daughter with him. 

So they both agree to solve the problem with fighting a rethorical contest – Alvíss has to prove his knowledge about all different names of things, their synonyms and how they are called within the different mythological entities among the Nordic Mythology. 

Avíss succeeds in answering all sorts of Thor’s questions correctly and Thor is really paying respect to the dwarf’s knowledge, but what Alvíss does not know yet: Thor is deliberately taking his time as he knows, as soon as the first sunbeam hits the dwarf, Alvíss will be turned to stone…

The new videoclip was produced by Antagonist Pictures:
Director, Editor: Andreas Elsener
Director of Photography, VFX & Color Correction: Martin Wey
Special support: Alex Keiser
Links:
The new CALADMOR clip has been supported through Blackmoore:

 

 

CALADMOR Reveal Title, Tracklist & Cover-art of Their New Album

Swiss epic folk metallers CALADMOR have revealed the new details about their new album.

The title of the new album will be “Of Stones and Stars”. The album is expected to be released later this year.

Another surprise about the new album will be the guest musicians; ELUVEITIE’s CHRIGEL GLANZMANN and PÄDE KISTLER are also featured in “Of Stones and Stars” so this album will surely be full of epicness and fun!

The tracklisting :

1. Curse Of The Gods

2. The Raid

3. Of Stones And Stars

4. Dawn Of The Deceiver

5. Alvíssmál

6. Laudine’s Lament

7. Mimirs Born

8. A Nymph’s Lure

9. Heralds Of Doom

10. Taberna Trollis

11. Helios Sky

CALADMOR is born from the band Pale which was founded in 2001. 
The meaning of the name – “dark light” – is a significant paradox marking the music of CALADMOR: 
Epic tunes creating epic wideness, thundering guitar riffs and stirring 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 an abyss. 

Not only towards linguistic concerns (lyrics in English, German, Middle High German and Old Norse) but also in matters of style the music of CALADMOR shows great diversity and contrasts and thus giving breath to the distinctive and typical ‘Caladmorian Epic Folk Metal’.

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