Keldian - Outbound 4.5/5

Reviewed: 12-1-13





Tracklist:

1. Burn the sky
2. Earthblood
3. Never existed
4. Morning light mountain
5. Kepler and 100,000 stars
6. The silfen paths
7. Run for your life
8. A place above the air
9. F.T.L.
10. Scoundrel days (bonus track)


Yes, it's finally here!! We've waited over 5 years for Keldian's 3rd CD 'Outbound' and now we can breathe a sigh of relief, as not only has this Norwegian band returned from outer space and brought along this CD, they don't disappoint with its tremendous quality. Those who know me personally (or have been visiting this site for many years) are aware that I'm a major fan of the band's first 2 CDs and that they're simply perfect in my mind. Their AOR-influenced power metal style (most present on the debut 'Heaven's gate', with some progressive elements too - mostly with the 2nd CD 'Journey of souls') has always amazed me and I regularly spin those 2 CDs.

With 'Outbound', the band has obviously evolved even more, and the gap of time between CDs has certainly been a factor. Rest assured, their signature style is still present and this CD is instantly recognizable as a Keldian CD, but it has a slightly heavier, slightly more aggressive, slightly more modern feel (in a few spots), and the space/sci-fi themes have been taken to the next level. There is less speed than before, but this was also a minor transition between the debut and the 2nd CD, so it's not a surprising change. Despite the less speed (there are some fast parts/songs though, just not as much), everything is still upbeat and exciting, and there are a lot of amazing melodies.

Really, the team of Christer Andresen and Arild Aardalen is nothing short of brilliant in my mind. There are very few bands in the world that started their career with 3 superb CDs, and this band excites me like when I first got into power metal. As for the songs on this CD, my favorites are the blazing opener "Burn the sky" (which contains a soaring guitar solo!), the short but memorable track 7 "Run for your life", the fast-paced track 9 "F.T.L." (probably the fastest on the CD, and most like songs from the debut), and the bonus track "Scoundrel days", which is an A-HA cover and I know that band (also from Norway - mostly known for their hit "Take on me") would be very pleased with the passion and burst of energy Keldian has put into the classic. The remainder of the songs are all fantastic too, though I don't like the brief distorted vocals in track "Morning light mountain", but that's an extremely minor complaint.

While this CD has more of a variety than their first 2 CDs, I personally like those CDs just a little more since they have more of the band's slick power metal style, but there's no doubt that the minor changes could appeal to a wider range of metal fans, and I'm positive that some fans will find this to be their best to date. So those who love the band's first 2 CDs (like myself) can pick this up immediately, and for those who have never heard of the band, you're in for something special.



CLINT




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