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Kaledon - 'Altor: The King's Blacksmith' Hot

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Written by Central Electronic Brain     December 08, 2013    
 
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Part of a full blown concept piece that encompasses seven previous Chapters (albums).

This is album number eight from Italian symphonic rockers Kaledon. It is part of a full blown concept piece that encompasses seven previous Chapters (albums). These chapters tell a story set in medieval times, which revolves around battles, Knights, civil war and on this album the tale of an heroic blacksmith named Altor (hence the title). Now if you want read the full back story in all of its glory, then I'd check out the band's webpage, where you can find sixteen pages of storytelling that will inform you about this and the band's earlier releases.

As concept projects go this one rivals their countryman Rhapsody's 'Enchanted Lands' tale easily; and as it's such an epic story you would rightly expect that it needs epic music to accompany it. Thankfully Kaledon have come up with just the right blend of symphonic rock and power metal to bring out the best in the saga and the songs that make up this album. Don't worry however if you're unfamiliar with the back story because 'A:TKB' can still be listened to and enjoyed on its own merits.

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Beginning with the obligatory intro Kaledon soon hit us with 'Childhood', a romping, rollicking track that sets the tone for what is to come. As the song ends, you're introduced to the first of the added bits of dialogue and sound effects that help with the concept. We hear someone working at a forge, hammering away on some molten steel, and this hammering turns into the drumming pattern for the next song 'Between The Hammer And The Anvil'. Then as the album progresses we hear a women crying which ushers in 'My Personal Hero', a song that features some excellent harmony vocals, then someone running away which leads to 'A New Beginning' with it's clever orchestration and superb lead guitar work. Further into the album we hear church bells that mournfully introduce 'Kephren', which is a really potent melodic metal song. And all these little elements help Kaledon tell their tale and make great music as well

Symphonic rock bands are becoming ten a penny, but finding a 'good one' is a far harder prospect. Kaledon for me are in the latter category and I have thoroughly enjoyed 'Altor'. Now I'm off to rob a bank (not really) so I can buy the previous seven albums....!!

Ian Johnson

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