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Galderia - 'The Universality' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/86/0f/27/galderia-the-universality-48-1371344262.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     June 16, 2013    
 
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Fine ensemble performances, fantastic choral arrangements and some excellent songs.

Back in Fireworks #44, I reviewed this French band’s awkwardly-titled independent release ‘Rise: Legions Of Free Men’ and suggested they would not be without a label deal for much longer. This was a shrewd observation, obviously! Although their music is quite derivative in conception – a mixture of the power metalisms of Hammerfall, Freedom Call, Power Quest and similar combos – lyrically their focus is totally unique.

Last time I indicated that Galderia “have a fixation with the Cosmos, the Power Of Universality and of the perceptions of David Icke”. And this continues; just consider the title they have given this release! Yes, they’re still focused on the awakening of mankind, their battle against an illusory world and of a growing awareness that the planet of Galderia is the true source of the spirit of mankind! Not content to provide the lyrics in the CD booklet, Galderia have thought it helpful to also give an explanation to each of the tracks! Is it all hokum? Who knows!

Brief overture ‘Universal Glory’ gets things going, sounding rather like the music to a National Anthem then after a minute ‘Children Of The Earth’ crashes in: this classic up-tempo power metal hymn has all the usual trappings including fantastic sing-a-long choruses, speedy riffing, impressive solos and those all-important quieter introspective moments. ‘Universality’ and ‘Raise The World’ stylistically maintain the thrust of the material. However, after repeated plays the lead vocals – whether provided by Seb or Tom – don’t come across as really having the depth and range the music needs. There’s nothing wrong with the magnificent harmony singing of the choruses of course, but when a short section of more extreme vocals arrive in ‘Raise The World’ it seems completely misplaced and so unnecessary.

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Male and female guest vocalists are featured on ‘Sundancers’ and it’s one of the best of the thirteen tracks, another with a chorus that burrows into your head. A number of less frantic songs then appear: the mid-tempo ‘Far Space’ and ballad ‘Galderians’ showing another side to the band. ‘Ocean Of Light’ is more symphonic and is once again blessed with huge choral sections. Wonderful…as indeed are ‘Beyond The Cosmic Winds’, ‘Rising Soul’, ‘One Million Dreams’ and ‘Call. To The World’. A three-minute ‘Outro’ (including whistling) closes the album…

Overall ‘The Universality’ is a fine album of its type with fine ensemble performances, fantastic choral arrangements and some excellent songs. However, I do have to remark that the quartet would do well to find a lead singer: one with a greater range and emotion than Seb and Tom currently bring to the party. Without that magic ingredient, I regret that I cannot see them leaping into the first division of power metal bands, and their “lyrical message” will stutter to a halt.

Paul Jerome Smith

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