Citadel (Fin) - Transition 3.5/5
1. Skeleton dance
2. Prince of heavy metal
3. A 1000 lifetimes
4. Withered heart
5. The fugitive
6. Ocean girl
8. Inside four walls
9. Transitional stage
10. Into the vortex
11. Touch of a prey (bonus track)
Alright generic power metal fans, this one's for you! We've got a very young band from Finland here, and they're playing fast-paced and exciting power metal in line with Sonata Arctica, Celesty, Twilightning, Axenstar and Dragonland. For a more in-depth comparison, I'm reminded a lot of the Celesty debut 'Reign of elements', which I've always thought of as a fantastic CD with catchy songs throughout and a fine, though predictable, ballad ("Kingdom"). Just like 'Reign of elements', 'Transition' has a lot of speed, but contains one ballad "Ocean girl". Although the song isn't as memorable as Celesty's "Kingdom", it's a very good song and matches the quality of the rest of the CD.
Fans of the earlier mentioned bands will certainly not be disappointed with the musical portion of this CD, as Mika Virtanen is a great guitarist and keyboardist Joona Kukkola pulls off plenty of interesting solos, sure to please Sonata Arctica and Twilightning fans. In fact, the CD was recorded and mixed at the famous Finnvox Studios. My favorite songs are track 2 "Prince of heavy metal", track 4 "Withered heart", track 5 "The fugitive" and track 8 "Inside four walls", which are all full of speed, great guitar work, keyboard parts and really keep the CD at enjoyable level. So although the band is young, I find their songwriting skills to be more than worthy.
Besides Citadel being generic, there is only one other thing that could possibly turn people off to this CD; vocalist Petteri Urmas. He's not bad at all, but he has a very unusual voice comparable to alternative/rock bands like Green Day. Wierd comparison, I know. But I can't listen to this CD once without his accent and singing style bringing the thought to mind. I should emphasize however, that his vocals don't feel out of place and are cohesive with the music, they just take a little getting used to.
So we have a band that will probably not appeal to fans who frequently speak "too generic" in their band descriptions. For me personally, this is an enjoyable listen that I look forward to in my rotation. Although the vocals bring the CD down just a bit, the music more than keeps me interested and I truly hope power metal fans don't overlook these guys, as I think there will be others that will find this to be exciting and competitive power metal, especially when considering the band is young and this is only their debut.
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