Bloden-Wedd - Eye of Horas 3.5/5

Reviewed: 9-9-05


1. Lone runner
2. Firebird
3. Down the road
4. Still believe
5. Through the heaven's eyes
6. 7th gate
7. Eye of Horas
8. Daughter of the minotaur
9. Power metal pride
10. Exodus
11. Untold words

Bloden-Wedd (which I understand is Gaelic for "Gods of Sunrise") are another promising contributor to the flourishing South American power metal scene. Hailing from Chile, the quartet have been silent for some time, as 'Eye of Horus' comes 4 years after their previous CD, the excellent 'Raging planet'. In the intervening years, Bloden-Wedd have replaced their bass player, while the other 3 members have undergone drastic changes in their physical appearance. Guitarist/vocalist/mastermind Dan Elbelman has gotten a respectable corporate haircut, drummer Max Acuna has discovered the track suit and wool cap look, and guitarist Patota Atxondo has ditched the clean-cut aura in favor of a wild'n'wooly facial hair vibe a la Trevor Peres from Obituary. So they don't have the classic power metal appearance anymore. Does it matter?

No way. Bloden-Wedd continue to serve up quality European-flavored power metal, showcasing the usual assortment of influences from Helloween and Angra but with an overall heavier approach. Singer Elbelman pulls off a respectable Tobias Sammet impression, a reasonable lower-register Michael Kiske tone, and an occasional foray into Andre Matos territory. Interestingly, though, 'Eye of Horus' reveals a band struggling a bit with its direction, as they manage to cover a wide swath of the power metal spectrum without committing to a particular niche. I think Bloden-Wedd are at their best when they put the hammer down and let it rip, like on the blistering opener "Lone runner" and the frenetic speed anthem "Power metal pride", which would not have been out of place on the Burning in Hell CD. Elsewhere, "7th gate" nicks the famous beginning to "Ride the sky", "Still believe" sounds a bit like Angra, "Through the heaven's eyes" is total 'Pink bubbles'-era commercial Helloween worship, and the ambitious 7-plus minute "Eye of Horus" sounds like it could be one of Edguy's more epic tracks. The semi-ballad closer, "Untold words", really does not work at all, with its arena ballad sensibilities, its jangly guitars and a few clunky keyboards tossed into the mix.

There is no question that Bloden-Wedd have delivered a worthy successor to their 'Raging planet' opus, elevating the packaging, production values and professionalism several notches. Ultimately, though, the songs are not as consistently strong as one would hope and the style is not as consistent or focused as it should be. 'Eye of Horus' is definitely not ready to take on the likes of Hibria and Thunderblast. Nonetheless, it is a very solid and worthwhile CD that offers positive contributions to the burgeoning South American power metal explosion. Power metal pride!




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