Kerion - 'CloudRiders Part 2: Technowars'

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Kerion - 'CloudRiders Part 2: Technowars'

This is an album not to be missed.

Certainty not recognized as a breeding ground for Progressive Power Metal, France is the birthplace of Kerion, a Female-Fronted ensemble who have origins that date back as early 1997. Sharing those common traits with other Progressive Rock outfits, they maintain consistent output and albums that are conceptual in nature. This time around, they are extending the latter trend with the second installment of the "CloudRiders" series.

'CloudRiders Part 2: Technowars' opens with 'Riders Theme,' an instrumental that quotes verbatim the timeless melody from the Kansas classic, 'Dust In The Wind'. Assuming deliberate in its execution, it pays a heartfelt homage to one of the greatest American Progressive Rock bands to grace the stage. Majestic at every turn, '...Technowars' delivers a brand Progressive Power Metal that is both lush and delicate while simultaneously bringing an urgency and technicality that are signature of the genre. Clocking in at almost eighty minutes, the flow of the album is impressive and its duration seems much shorter than its actual running time. Much like Queensryche's epic 'Operation: Mindcrime' multi-album storyline, the pace of this album is terrific and never succumbs to self-indulgency or tendential to the concept. Kerion is able to weave the story in such a way that the music never suffers.



Bookended by proper (instrumental) "intro" and "outro" themes, 'CloudRiders Part 2: Technowars' is a complete and satisfying listening experience which many a concept recording fails to convey. Although slightly distracting since the musicianship is so well executed, the guitar tone lacks presence and definition. Despite this minor criticism, the clarity is clear and consistent throughout. Far from being overdone, the keyboards really add texture, mood and authenticity to the music. Additionally, the varying tempos combined with some indigenous melodies really keep things interesting with 'Riding Clouds' being a prime example.

This is an album not to be missed. Those reluctant or that refuse to find Female-Fronted Progressive/Power Metal enjoyable are absolutely missing out. Not only does Flora deliver a stunning vocal performance, there are many guest male voices who are featured to create a very diverse and colorful atmosphere.

Brent Rusche

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