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Review: Excalion - Waterlines

Label: Limb Music Products
Year released: 2007
Duration: 48:26
Tracks: 10
Genre: Power Metal


Review online: October 6, 2007
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers' Rating
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Rated 4.04/5 (80.71%) (28 Votes)

Excalion's debut album Primal Exhale didn't get much press, being barely released on the teensy Sound Riot label, but I liked it. I thought it was pretty generic, but that the band had chops, as well as a singer who had real charisma. In short, I thought they had serious potential. Seems I was right, as this year they are back with a LMP contract and a killer sophomore effort that is one of the best Power Metal albums this year.

I was worried that this band would get proggy, as there were some of those tendencies on their debut, but happily Excalion have dumped any sort of prog or generic Power Metal and written a straight-up, hard-hitting album of melodic metal goodness that is both slickly modern and very basic: they just wrote an album of great songs. The production is excellent, the musicianship is spot-on, and the songwriting is tight and aggressive while still being melodic and catchy as all hell. Once again I cannot stress how much of an asset singer Jarmo Paakonnen is to this band, as he lifts them from good to great with his amazing charisma and energy. He has improved from an unschooled but enthusiastic vocalist to a real first-rate metal singer, with a wailing upper range, a great ear for hooks, and a go-for-the-throat performance that's so vibrant it's like a slap in the face. So many metal singers seem like they are sleepwalking through their albums, not this guy.

So Waterlines is a heavy, hook-laden feast of Power Metal joy with singable melodies and an outstanding vocal performance. This is the kind of stuff Nocturnal Rites used to make back when they were good. Excalion are kind of under the radar right now, but that can't last long, as this is a band destined for the big time, as long as they keep making albums this good. Highly recommended.

More about Excalion...
Review: Emotions (reviewed by Bruno Medeiros)
Review: High Time (reviewed by Bruce Dragonchaser)
Review: High Time (reviewed by Larry Griffin)
Review: Primal Exhale (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Waterlines (reviewed by Larry Griffin)
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