Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Nebraska Metal Scene Pt. 1: Cellador: Enter Deception

As a Nebraskan, I have a lot of interest in my state's metal scene. Unfortunately, we really don't have much of a scene. Cellador thus far is the only metal band to achieve any kind of national following. The band is signed to Metal Blade Records, possibly the best-known metal label in the country, particularly since Roadrunner's defection to mainstream hard rock. The band has released one full-length album and a couple of demos. Hopefully they will be releasing another full-length soon.

Cellador is a power metal band from Omaha. They formed in 2004 when all members were 18-24 years of age. Cellador takes a European style approach to power metal, sounding much more like a slower Dragonforce or Blind Guardian in its middle period than American power metal bands like Jag Panzer, Liege Lord or Iced Earth.

The instrumentalists, particularly the lead guitar player, display impressive speed and technical mastery. The band is able to play technical power metal at blazing speeds. Many of the songs feature long solo sections allowing the guitar players to show off their chops. The bass player is proficient and can actually be heard, which is a little unusual for a power metal band. The singer possesses a higher register voice, similar to most other power metal bands, however he is not as strong of a vocalist as the singers for the aforementioned bands and his voice wavers a little when he is not singing within his comfort zone.

Lyrically, the band differs somewhat from their European power metal influences. The band deals typically with personal issues and striving for freedom and individuality than the fantasy imagery usually associated with European power metal. This is a refreshing change of pace.

"Leaving All Behind" is the standout track from the album. Opening an album with the strongest song is a good way to get the listener's attention, but if there are no other songs matching that intensity, things can get a little stale after awhile. This is the problem with this album. No other songs come close to matching the power of the opening track. Luckily, this is a shorter album than other power metal albums making the lack of other standout tracks less of an issue.

After all is said and done, this a fairly decent showing for a young power metal band. There is nothing mind-blowing, but it's a good, quick listen and the band shows some promise for further growth. At least they know how to write a song unlike some power metal bands.

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