Cellador – Off the Grid

Shadowfold is setting to explode

Break the force and I will be reborn

CELLADOR
OFF THE GRID
Scarlet Records
Released: 10-3-2017

 

Cellador is an American power metal band formed in 2003 by Chris Petersen (vocals, guitars) and Josh Krohn (bass, vocals). Since then they have toured in support of such bands as Trivium, Sonata Arctica, Bullet for my Valentine, The Human Abstract, and Behemoth and in 2007 they played both at ProgPower USA (in Atlanta, Georgia) and at Loudpark (in Japan). 


Weirdly enough the band has a very short discography lists which consists of only one full length album (“Enter Deception” 2006), two demos (“The Burning Blue” 2004 and “Leave All Behind” 2005) and an EP (“Honor Forth” 2011). This is most probably due to frequent line-up changes and all the other problems that come with being a band that is starting out. Despite all these hardships, Chris Petersen persevered and now the band is releasing their sophomore album titled “Off the Grid” (out March 10th, 2017 via Scarlet Records).

From the start I got the feeling that this is a band that knows what it is doing and the type of sound it aims for and this idea was reinforced a few times as the album progressed. “Off the Grid” echoes influences from modern heavy metal to some Helloween / Iron Maiden vibes as far as vocal delivery go since Chris’s powerhouse vocals reminded me of both Michael Kiske’s high notes and Bruce Dickinson’s powerful vibrato. “Swallow your Pride” or “Shimmering Status” are excellent example of his vocal abilities. When I said ‘modern heavy metal’ I was referring to the instrumental which relays heavily on guitars and drums, in the veins of Dynazty’s sound on both “Renatus” (2014) and “Titanic Mass” (2016), with some underlying keyboard work and bass lines for an extra punch. Nonetheless, this album still has a strong personality of its own, so to say. And the lyric video for “Shadowfold” brings forth all the best elements the band has to offer, thus being a good embodiment of the band’s style and sound and the song itself can be described as having a heavy instrumental side with a catchy chorus and a groovy keyboard solo from Diego Valadez.

 

Though not as diverse as I would have liked it to be, “Off the Grid” is a consistent release that offers quality metal with energetic songs that will have you headbanging to the speedy playing of guitarists Eric Meyers and Chris Petersen that fill the album with mind-blowing guitar solo (“Soul Survivors”, “Break Heresy”, “This Means War”) or it will have you rocking out to the melodic vocal lines of such songs as the title track, “Good Enough”, or “Wake up the Tyrant”. I have to come back to the guitar work and say that it can easily rival Gus Drax’s work on Sunburst’s album “Fragments of Creation” (2016), as it is edgy, well-executed and will keep you wanting more. Nick McCallister’s hard-hitting drums are part of the core sound of the band and are very up-front, pounding and raging alongside the guitars, rounding up the rhythmic sections nicely (just check out the beginning of “Shadowfold”). James Pickett’s bass is the driving force of album closer “Running Riot”, and apart from this, unfortunately, the bass and the keys are a bit harder to hear over this powerful trio mentioned above (vocals-guitar-drums), but I am sure the overall sound wouldn’t be this groovy without them in the mix. There are so many things happening on any given song, it may take you a second to wrap your head around the bombast and the rocking melodies, but it’s totally worth the re-play(s). For anyone who appreciates all the things highlighted above, this album is a must listen!  

 

To conclude this review, Cellador are making a great come-back with this larger-than-life, and fierce album so brace yourselves for Heavy Melodic Power Metal with soaring choruses, insane guitars and well-written songs! Highly recommend “Off the Grid” as it can be counted among the best of 2017 and it will be in my playlist for a long time.  

 

Personally, I am looking forward to more music from these guys!  

 

By Andreea
1-3-2017