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KELDIAN Heaven's Gate Perris(2007)

Hailing from Norway, Keldian are the brainchild of Christer Andresen (Vocals, Guitar, Bass) and Arild Aardalen (Keyboards, Additional Vocals) and follow in a long line of Scandinavian bands delivering consummate, classy melodic rock with a metal edge.

Delightfully ambitious in scale, this 10-track debut album is a concept piece with each track about man's hopes, fears, future and ultimate journey to the stars. Opening song Crusader immediately draws comparison to Stratovarius with its speedy but melodic delivery whilst evocative titles like Redshift and Plains Of Forever hint at the science-fiction nature of the subject matter.

At lighter moments Kedian can come across as something of a beefed up version of 80's pop band A-Ha. That's down to a similar sounding vocalist more than anything as Requiem For The Light for instance is an epic of Luca Turelli proportions interspersed with operatic moments and choral backing. The album is a particularly bold statement and does rock hard in places with title track Heaven's Gate and Sundancer being particularly strong whilst Salvation (Release Me) displays some fierce heavy riffing within layers of keyboards.

Their record company reckons its 'for fans of Europe, Giant and Asia'. I think fans of Stratovarius, Rhapsody and even Helloween may be pretty impressed too.

A very decent album that deserves some attention even if the subject matter isn't to everyone's taste.


Review by Bill Leslie

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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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