Italy knows how to do Symphonic Power Metal. Since Rhapsody (Of Fire etc…) blazed a trail back in the mid 90’s it seemed to unleash a plethora of like-minded souls which has continued through to current times. There is generally an eccentricity and flamboyance somewhere within an Italian Symphonic Power Metal bands repertoire that other country’s never seem to emulate and although Kalidia are nowhere near as barking as Rhapsody, Shadows Of Steel and others were, they exude the same class and attention to detail that their compatriots possess.
That audible classiness is inherent within Kalidia’s intelligent arrangements and their musical performance, but given an extra slickness by the effortless vocals of Nicoletta Rosellini. As a package, the band evoke thoughts of Lunatica or Amberian Dawn, with many a male-fronted Symphonic Power Metal knocking on memory’s door for good measure. But really concentrate on the varied, smooth tones of Rosellini and there are suddenly elements of Edenbridge, Flowing Tears, Delain and early Visions Of Atlantis. Without apparently trying, she absolutely asserts her vocals as the focal point of the band.
Cue a guitarist, bassist and drummer feeling a little hard done by, so lets also give them the credit they deserve. All three are excellent in their own craft and their songwriting ability and delivery is such that it allows a vocalist to ply their trade as well as is in evidence here. Tight, powerful varying rhythms compliment melodic and intricate guitar lines that are decorated by nice keyboard work (no keyboardist credited on the info I have by the way, but a great job done all the same, whoever you are!). Both lead and rhythm guitars (Frederico Paulini doing both throughout) shine through when needed, with some good, chunky riffs and soaring solos always in evidence. A nice bit of guest violin too.
“The Frozen Throne” has a healthy mix of mid-tempo tracks with splashes of power balanced by Power Metal tracks with an undertone of Melodic Metal, which gives the bands sound a continuity. There’s also plenty of catchy choruses, nice hooks and anthemic vocal lines to latch onto that Sonata Arctica and the like would be proud of, and although musically there will be nothing here that long-term Power Metal fans won’t find naggingly familiar, the bands individual edge does seem to come back to Rosellini’s vocals. She gives the whole album an audible…class – there is that word again from the start of the review, but that’s the overall feeling I’m left with. Sometimes, as the history of Metal bands has many examples of, a guitarist can be as good as you could hope for, but he will still overhear people leaving the gig he has just given his all at saying to each other “They were really good, but Wow, wasn’t that singer fabulous?”. Sometimes it’s just the way of things.
(8/10 Andy Barker)