Saidian - Evercircle 4/5

Reviewed: 7-24-09





Tracklist:

1. Out of the shadows
2. Tokyo
3. Solomon's dance
4. Once in my dreams
5. Pale moon rider
6. Stroke of genius
7. Moonlight's calling
8. Sign in the sky
9. The princess
10. Halos for everyone


It was back in 2005 when I reviewed the debut 'For those who walk the path forlorn' from German band Saidian. While I liked the melodic metal style of the debut, the songwriting just wasn't up to par and overall it was just a decent to good CD (barely above average). I rarely listened to it after writing the review, so I was very surprised when the band took a huge leap forward with their 2nd CD 'Phoenix' late in 2006. They picked up the pace, the songwriting was much better, and although it had a few average songs, the majority were excellent and its melodic power metal style was a lot more competitive than what the debut provided.

Thankfully, the band has improved even more with their 3rd CD 'Evercircle'. However, since their 2nd CD was already excellent, this CD is just a minor step up. It still maintains their melodic power metal style, offering up both mid-paced/bouncy songs and plenty of fast-paced songs as well. Vocalist Markus Engelfried returns with his mid-ranged vocals, which are very similar to Tobias Sammet's of Edguy and Avantasia fame. Just like the band's music, Markus seems to improve as the years go by and there's no reason he can't be considered one of the better power metal vocalists.

All wrapped up, Saidian (and especially this 3rd CD) is like a blend of Stratovarius, Edguy, Powerworld, Kotipelto and Power Quest. Actually, more than their first 2 CDs, this CD reminds me a lot of the magnificent Power Quest, as many of the songs are keyboard driven. Yeah, I know this style is somewhat wimpy or too happy for some power metal fans, but I personally find CDs like this to be fun, catchy, exciting, memorable, and I love the many sing-a-long choruses. That said, I'm a major Power Quest fan, so those who dislike that band (hopefully there aren't very many - hehehe) probably won't like Saidian either.

'Evercircle' starts out with the fast-paced and exciting "Out of the shadows", which really sets the mood for the entire CD. The mid-paced and catchy track 2 "Tokyo" and track 3 "Solomon's dance" will immediately bring Power Quest to mind, and they too are great. The following "Once in my dreams" is the one ballad, and it's actually quite good. Plus, it picks up the pace in the middle in an almost surprising manner. The CD cruises throughout its remainder, with one fantastic song after another. I like them all, but the fast-paced closer "Halos for everyone" just might be the best song on the CD, as it's very memorable and ends the CD on an ultra-high note.

To me, this is Saidian's best CD to date, as it's the most consistently excellent and I wouldn't call any of its songs average. An argument could certainly be made that this melodic power metal style has been done too many times before and is now generic, but this is the type of stuff I fell in love with years ago and still thoroughly enjoy now. If you think you're in the same boat, I would definitely grab this.



CLINT




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