CD Reviews

Cellador - 'Off The Grid' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     July 03, 2017    
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One brilliant act to follow and one that will rival the very best from those who established and defined the genre.

For those who think Power Metal is best served by bands from Europe, America is not to be left out of the conversation with this speed-of-light excellence from Denver, Colorado's Cellador. Due to massive line-up changes since the band's inception in 2003, 'Off The Grid' is only the second long-player in their career since 'Enter Deception' was released more than a decade prior. With the exception of founder Chris Petersen and latest member Eric Meyers (guitar) joining in 2015, Cellador's line-up did not solidify until 2011.

The splendid material featured in the form of ten dense tracks proves that time has been very kind to a band who has struggled with stability. '...Grid' features a track-list that transitions effortlessly from strength to strength, starting with the dizzying 'Soul Survivor' and culminating with the fantastic 'Running Riot'. Intense grace is a suitable oxymoron to best describe Cellador; the songs unfold like wind through your hair, combining the best elements of Power, Thrash and Progressive Metal with strong melodicism to ties things together. The tempos are somewhat maniacal, but Cellador's exercise in controlled mania is nicely countered by their dedication to extreme melodicism.

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Every member brings virtuosity to the mix and when combined, explodes into a highly caffeinated symphony. High energy is putting it mildly, since the intensity level is kept at a consistent eleven, making Nigel Tufnel's (Spinal Tap) obsession with that number giddy with delight. In many ways, Cellador's overwhelming accessibility comes in the form of Chris Peterson's clean, crisp vocals that have much in common with Pop Punk bands like NOFX and Pennywise, but are delivered in a theatrical context that is undoubtedly grounded in European Power Metal. It is impossible to ignore the comparison of the chorus from 'Wake Up The Tyrant' with DragonForce's 'Through The Fire And The Flames'. However, the song falls well shy of imitation and offers some unexpected changes that eschew parody thus awarding it a character all unto its own. However, to go track by track would result in unnecessary and repetitive adjectives.

Quality is on very high order with 'Off The Grid' and if the band's current incarnation finds some permanent footing, Cellador is one brilliant act to follow and one that will rival the very best from those who established and defined the genre residing thousands of miles away.

Brent Rusche

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