Album Reviews

Excalion – High Time

Released by Limb Music – 2010

Review Added March 29, 2010

Released by: Limb Music on January 29, 2010
Running Time: 48:01
Style: Melodic Power Metal
Links: http://www.myspace.com/excalion

Tracklist
1. Enter A Life**
2. From Somewhere To Anywhere**
3. Sun Stones**
4. The Flags In Line
5. Bring On The Storm
6. The Shroud**
7. Firewood
8. Lifetime
9. Quicksilver
10.A Walk On A Broken Road
11.Foreversong
Hot Tracks**

Vocals – Jarmo Pääkkönen
Guitar – Vesa Nupponen
Keyboards – Jarmo Myllyvirta
Bass – Tero Vaaja
Drums – Henri Pirkkalainen

The debut album from Finnish power metallers EXCALION appeared out of nowhere back in 2005 and received a pretty warm welcome from power metal fans and critics alike. As most of the reviews stated at the time, it was a very good album, but there was definitely room for improvement. The reply came in 2007 with the release of WATERLINES, that improved in nearly every aspect and had the die-hard power metal fans singing from the rooftops. Now, in the early part of 2010 we have the band’s third release HIGH TIMES.

Whilst not much has really changed since the last album, there has been a general improvement in the production and overall sound. The style is mainly the same, with the exception of the fact that the band has slowed the tempo just a little and added a bit more melody here and there.
As is usual with any decent release in the genre, the musicianship throughout this album is stellar, and the vocals are for the most part very good, but in some places sound a little forced which does manage to spoil certain songs. EXCALION have experimented a bit on this album and have added little pieces in some songs that do catch your ear. The main example of this is the song SUN STONES has that has a very oriental eastern feel to it.

The problem I have with HIGH TIME though, is that all of the exciting and interesting elements have run their course in the first half of the album, leaving a second half that seems to just taper off and fails to reach the heights shown earlier. The opening three tracks, ENTER A LIFE, FROM SOMEWHERE TO ANYWHERE and SUN STONES are all excellent and set a standard that the rest of the album fails to keep up with. The next highlight comes mid way through the album in the form of THE SHROUD, which is bombastic and melodic and will call you back for repeat listens.

If HIGH TIME was consistent throughout and the second half matched the lofty heights of the first half, EXCALION would have an almighty corker of an album on their hands, unfortunately though, that is not the case and this time around we’ll have to settle for six great songs and six okay songs. Still worth checking out though if you’re a fan of the power metal/ melodic metal genres.

Written by Zeezee

Ratings Zeezee  7/10

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