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Excalion - High Time

Excalion
High Time
by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos at 08 April 2010, 11:04 AM

My first encounter with this Finnish act took place with the debut release entitled "Primal Exhale". Overall, that album made a good impression despite the fact that the sound was pretty much predictable. EXCALION were carrying the Euro-Power Metal character with catchy riffs, high pitched vocals and nice keyboard melodies. Even though I saw in that album some good elements, I did not pay much attention on the following album "Waterlines" due to the aforementioned multi-used recipes.

So, "High Time" is EXCALION's next attempt to rise from the rather restricted area under the banner of Power Metal. "Enter A Life" is a riff driven track that breathes the same air with STRATOVARIUS, using similar structures in the vocals while the keyboards enhance the melodic parts. Even though to my ears this sounds over-played by many other bands, EXCALION manage to add a certain quality that really shows up through the classical Metal finishing touches. Those become more 'vivid' in the rhythm section where some BRAINSTORM influences can be discovered. Things sound better with the Eastern scales entering with "Sun Stones"; here the band steps into new grounds with really nice hooks and slightly drifts away from the already carved Power Metal paths. The guitar work follows the standards set by STRATOVARIUS with sing-along riffs while the keyboards add SONATA ARCTICA influences in the list.

Jarmo Paakkonen has a very good voice with a little lower pitch than usual and this helps the band to build a more personal character. Personally, I like the mid tempo parts and songs like "Lifetime" while in "Quicksilver" the keyboards sound so addictive that reveal an almost Hard Rock approach; the break in the middle of this song is simply a killer. I feel that EXCALION can do more in this direction by working more on these classic Metal foundations.

The excellent keyboard groove of "Foreversong" closes the album and leaves the listener with very good impressions about EXCALION. The album starts rather weak but after a while reaches a climax and reveals the weaponry this band possesses. It is clear that this band has evolved from the debut album and taking into account the Scandinavian ancestry things can only go better.

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
  1. Enter A Life
  2. From Somewhere To Anywhere
  3. Sun Stones
  4. The Flags In Line
  5. Bring On The Storm
  6. The Shroud
  7. Firewood
  8. Lifetime
  9. Quicksilver
  10. A Walk On A Broken Road
  11. Foreversong
Lineup:
Jarmo Paakkonen - Vocals
Jarmo Myllyvirta - Keyboadrs
Vesa Nupponen - Guitar
Henri Pirkkalainen - Drums
Tero Vaaja - Bass Guitar
Record Label: Limb Music
     


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