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Bel o Kan - Birth of a queen 3.5/5

Reviewed: 5-1-10


1. Birth of a queen
2. Children call
3. Dark and light
4. Utopia
5. Six men
6. Too late
7. Runaway
8. Ten thousand milliard
9. Salem
10. Blowin' the wind
11. Fire on ice
12. Too late (piano version)

Bel o Kan is a French band that was actually formed way back in 2001, but they've gone through some line-up changes, recorded a few demos, and they finally released this full-length debut 'Birth of a queen' in 2009. Luckily they snatched a deal with the great Brennus Music for its release, though (to my knowledge) Bel o Kan is still quite unknown in the metal world. Hopefully that will change, as they're a very promising band.

Although they have a symphonic side, the band's main style is folk/power metal and they're female fronted, so the bands that have come to mind as comparisons are Kalevala, Almora, Dalriada/Echo of Dalriada, Hildr Valkyrie, Dystera, Fearlight, Mena Brinno, Midnattsol, and Unshine in a few spots. The best overall comparison is Aynja however, as this is not the kind of folk metal with a lot of strings (violin, etc.) or a flute, but the melodies are definitely folky. I also want to add that Bel o Kan is not as aggressive as some of the mentioned bands, especially Dalriada/Echo of Dalriada. Still, this list should give you a general idea of what to expect.

Vocalist Sarah Liodenot has a good voice, though she isn't one of the better female vocalists I've heard. She's also part of the band's small choir, which does improve the vocal department. Most of the songs are upbeat, bouncy and fun, but there are some slower moments and they're nicely done. There's enough speed to satisfy, and the band certainly leans towards power metal. I wish the production was a bit better, though there are some great melodies, and with the songwriting being of high quality, this is truly a strong start for the band. So if this sounds like an interesting CD, check it out, as I enjoy it and you might too.




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