Cellador - Off The Grid review

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Band: Cellador
Album: Off The Grid
Release date: February 2017

01. Sole Survivors
02. Break Heresy
03. Shadowfold
04. Wake Up The Tyrant
05. Off The Grid
06. Swallow Your Pride
07. Shimmering Status
08. Good Enough
09. This Means War
10. Running Riot

The passion and pace that lift Off The Grid off the ground signal an album full of highly professional and energetic barrages of power metal marshmallow. Cellador hadn't released an album since 2006, but they have apparently been bottling up energy since their debut. Off The Grid is as crisp and pure as they come, with not a screw or crumb out of place.

Cellador radiates soft-edged melody; not one foul note or unflattering chord progression can be found throughout Off The Grid. The songwriting remains adventurous at times, if not in style, then in substance. Off The Grid has bountiful stores of unexpected vocal lines and refreshingly thoughtful twists. Even when the songs begin to lose their appeal and the recycling becomes more evident, the extreme metal drumming, scorching solos, and clarion vocals wrap everything up in such a shiny and inviting package that Cellador can sound like a passably original band - or, at the very least, a passionate one.

The mellifluous quality of the band's name is reflected in the music to which it is appended. I'm fairly certain "Swallow Your Pride" appeared on the last DragonForce album, and I wouldn't be surprised to go back and find "Break Heresy" there as well. A more youthful strain of canned bravado leads to a mildly insufferable egotism that many young power metal bands seem too earnest to replicate properly. Off The Grid is pretentious as all get-out, but the rapid-fire assaults of bright melody, Chris's soaring voice, and the flawlessly executed guitar riffs make that kind of okay. Sooner or later, you begin to feel the exuberant stupidity of power metal, that charming hunger for conquest that causes bands to barrel through their anthems at breakneck speed, but Cellador never drops the pristine presentation.

Because of how shiny and brightly-colored Cellador is, it's easy to assume that there isn't any substance lurking underneath the swift and neatly-pressed choruses, and I took the album for purely average retro-power worship at first, but a few months of consideration have allowed the songs to steep. Somehow, the band keeps up the taxing pace throughout the album, delivering ten very consistent songs that really shine once they get to the choruses, even if a lot of the other parts are just excuses to get there.

Truthfully, I think Off The Grid shows more potential than genius, but it's surprising we even got a second album out of Cellador, so perhaps I won't tempt fate and anticipate a third one too much. As it is, Off The Grid is very easy to pick up again and again; it's a fun, easy listen that encapsulates a lot of great power metal tropes, a few new ideas, and some wizardly performances in a tight, fresh-sounding package.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Production: 7


Written on 10.04.2017 by I'm the reviewer, and that means my opinion is correct.


Comments: 2   Visited by: 142 users
11.04.2017 - 04:12
The Benighted
Ctrl+f "dragonforce"

yep, there it is
Learn to adapt to the change, or get washed away like tears in the rain.
22.08.2017 - 11:46
Got me interested

Dreams are made so we don't get bored when we sleep

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