Metal Storm logo
Karelia - The Usual Tragedy review


17 users:
Band: Karelia
Album: The Usual Tragedy
Release date: 2003

01. Intro
02. Letter For An Angel
03. Torn Dress
04. Usual Tragedy
05. The Deserter
06. Blind
07. Called Up
08. Daddy's Grave
09. My Guilty Absence
10. Slave Of Time

This was an unforeseen surprise, I was initially attracted by the gorgeous cover art of the album, but I didn't expected to encounter such a masterpiece hidden within this fantastic DigiPak.
The band name is quite unusual, so a little research on the web revealed this: Karelia is the land of the Karelian people inhabitated vast areas in Norther Europe, of historical significance for Finland, Russia, and Sweden. Interesting.

Power Metal is totally wore out these days, everyone is a clone of Stratovarious and Rhapsody, for me, everything is quite the same, that's why I'm forced to explore more innovative genres on the wide field that is Metal these days. But once in a while, I go back to my roots and give a Power Metal band a chance to prove themselves, that's why Karelia came into my hands.

Karelia plays an up-tempo and very melodic Power Metal, Epic yet Progressive at the same time, the use of real choirs give that epic touch to the music. The good thing about the choirs is that they don't overuse them like some bands do (Who said Rhapsody?), and they meld perfect into the music.

The vocals are a strong asset also, singer Matthieu Kleiber has two vocal approaches, one low and deep (which I'm not so crazy about -sounds too forced-) and his "normal" voice, he manages to reach some nice notes without recurring to the infamous falsetto technique. The instruments are all in place, specially the keyboards, they give a nice touch to the music, the compositions and songwriting manage to keep the listener interested at all times, songs are varied and full of surprises, which is very important with the over population of Power Metal bands these days.

Picking my favorite song would be a difficult task, because they're all great, the opener "Letter For An Angel" got me from the first note, "Torn Dress" has this catchy chorus, while "Usual Tragedy" has nice calm parts between the chorus. "Deserter" begins as a ballad, but then becomes a Power fest of gigantic proportions, "Blind" sounds just like a Nightwish song, and who would guessed, even features some female vocals, closer track "Slave Of Time" has some great keyboard soloing, and great choirs and choruses again.

Every composition is very catchy, melodic and creative, and I'm must admit that I'm totally in love with this band, and the Cd has not left my record player in all the month, and lucky me! Their second album is on the way! I can't wait to hear more from the new Power Metal sensation from France: Karelia. Recommended for anyone tired of listening Power Metal bands that sound all the same.

Written by Undercraft | 03.05.2005

Hits total: 3053 | This month: 8