Glorious, unabashed power metal...
“Riding the Storm that is life and its game. Diving into the unknown.” The opening lyrics of the opening track, Sole Survivors sums up my introduction to the band that is Cellador.
The band have released their long anticipated follow up to Enter Deception, from almost an aeon ago when they burst on to the scene in 2006. It has been a long time between drinks (eleven years) and Cellador are making up for it in spades after overcoming line-up changes, relocating to Denver, Colorado, putting out a 4 song EP in 2011 and switching to a new record label – Scarlet Records.
The new album Off The Grid was produced by founding member Chris Petersen at Cellardark Studio, along with famed mixing engineer Peter Rutcho (Havok, Revokation, Vomitron and Armory), and is power metal right through to the core. The riffs are up tempo with high pitched soaring vocals and catchy choruses. You could easily be mistaken that you are listening to a Dragonforce, Helloween, Sonata Arctica or Gamma Ray album.
Sole Survivors is my introduction to Cellador, and right from the opening crescendo that blisters my face right off with its full on sonic assault, I am engrossed. Sole Survivors is almost 4 minutes of furious riffs, soaring vocals and blistering solos. The song is one of the highlights of the album and sets the tone beautifully for the album to follow.
Break Heresy, which in his own words, lead guitarist and vocalist Chris Peterson states is the closest Cellador can come to a mid-tempo song. I don’t know that they really have a slow gear but the song does have a really cool breakdown leading into the keyboard/guitar duelling solo that really is quite melodic.
Then it’s time to get heavy, dirty and deeply heavy with Shadowfold, the first single off the album with a lyric video already available. The song starts with an opening riff that, to my ears, is heavily influenced by Rage – even the opening lyrics sound a little like Peavy Wagner singing along. The chorus is quite uplifting and is quite catchy I am finding my foot tapping along with it. A nice riff and lick leads to the keyboard and guitar duelling solos.
The album clocks in at approximately forty two minutes and it is an all-out assault on your senses. Galloping beats, spiralling riffs, epic and soaring lyrics all abound. There is a lot to like on this album, the production is polished and the songs are easy to get into. It is very easy to sing along to most choruses after a listen or two. If you like your power metal fast and furious this is an album you can really sink your teeth into.
I find the best tracks outside of the three openers are Wake up the Tyrant, This Means War and the title track Off The Grid. But honestly there is nothing that I wouldn’t listen to, even the Cyndi Lauper cover of Good Enough, on there as Chris Petersen is sharing his love of eighties music.
Off The Grid was released on March 10 through Scarlett Records.