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Keldian – The Bloodwater Rebellion

The Bloodwater Rebellion
by Phil Tyler at 01 October 2022, 12:12 PM

KELDIAN  are a Symphonic Metal  duo from Norway and The Bloodwater Rebellion is their fifth album released on Perris Records. When I finished listening to this album, I didn’t feel that it was Symphonic Metal and this is a much more stripped down sound with heavy emphasis on keyboards and almost a retro feel to some of the songs. I did however check a few of their earlier songs off their previous album and they do fit that genre with a much more metallic guitar sound. This isn’t a criticism, rather more that if you are expecting Symphonic Metal, you won’t find it here.

The album is a concept album but unlike most concept albums, it’s fairly short at just over 45 minutes long. It tells a story of corruption where the rich now own all the water and the poor have to scrabble in the desert. One man who escapes from a prison then joins with the rebellion and fights back against the oppression. The first track “The Million Dollar Mile” opens with a keyboard and bass intro. Thumping drums carry the track and it’s certainly well produced with a catchy chorus and a nice lead guitar. The lyrics also reflect the story well.

“We see right through your lies
if the engine sputters you jump in with blazing eyes
What would you have us be?
not the leaders of the pack but animals at bay.”

“I'm all smiles
running the million dollar mile
chasing the billion dollar high
it's mine”

Sounds like the latest budget from the UK Government and whist the story is set in 2062, sounds like it could be 2022 to me. It’s certainly relevant. “I Am The Taker” opens up with a hard rocking riff and reminded me of RIVERSIDE though sadly the riff soon makes way with a mellower verse and only resurfaces towards the end of the song.. There’s an additional vocalist apparently but she fails to make an impact and the track is fairly forgettable. “Voices Of The Dead” is memorable as it starts with a distorted vocal singing “Genocide genocide”. The chorus has a definite 80s feel and that and the synths reminded me of Host-era PARADISE LOST. It’s a good track and stands out well.

“We Are Rebellion” is one of the longest tracks at six minutes long and has a synth intro with the guitars having a VAN HALEN feel in the main riff. I liked the verse and there’s some heavier keyboard later in the track though the trumpet and lead guitar is swallowed by the keys and the choir is barely noticeable. The stand-out track for me on the album is undoubtedly “The Legacy Lament” which is fantastic in its simplicity and atmosphere. A powerful atmospheric intro builds over the course of the song. This is the second song featuring a choir and here they really do shine, repeating the chorus which alternates with Christers vocals which show more passion in the delivery. It ends on majestic keys and a superb lead guitar which unlike the previous track, soars and shines strong. The production is excellent on this track and I wish the same consistency had been applied to the other tracks.

The album ends on “Thunderstorm of the Century” which is the longest track on the album. A clean guitar over the keyboards adds a retro and whimsical feel. There is again more emotion in the vocals than on some of the earlier tracks and a strong chorus. The guitar adds more urgency and the song ends on a wall of bass and a thunderclap. KELDIAN have produced an album which has a definite retro/classic rock feel compared to their previous album and whilst I enjoyed the concept, I think it would have been better served through Symphonic Metal as it’s fairly sedate. I would have liked for example “We Are Rebellion” to be a bit more…well…rebellious and angry sounding. The last two tracks are the best but it’s a bit of a mixed bag and not an album I would dive into multiple times.

Songwriting: 6
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 6
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. The Million Dollar Mile
2. I Am the Taker
3. Tundra
4. The Lighthouse Burden
5. Voices of the Dead
6. A Ghost and a Promise
7. We Are Rebellion
8. The Legacy Lament
9. Thunderstorm of the Century
Christer Andresen - lead vocals, guitars, bass
Arild Aardalen - keyboards, vocals
Record Label: Perris Records


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