Galderia – The Universality
I quite enjoyed the previous EP from French power metallers Galderia, which really had me rather pumped on the band. Originality wasn’t their game, but when it came to throwing down the cheese and partying like it’s nineteen ninety nine Galderia put in as good a claim as any to honouring that sound in all its glory. Here on their third full-length The Universality they continue to party hard, although I wouldn’t be surprised if a few guests took leave, as there are some definite lulls.
I do think this is a pretty good album on the whole, but at over an hour and featuring a couple of sub-par tracks, this is nowhere near as fun as Rise, Legions of Free Men. Fortunately, The Universality does start off pretty well with a kick ass romp in Gamma Ray territory which stretches over the first couple of songs. However, it is throughout these songs that shortcomings of singer Seb slowly start to bleed out through the music. He’s undeniably listenable in places, and the gang/choir vocals are particularly good, however in some of the verses I’ve found him to sound relatively poor, and they include some aggressive vocals which are completely unwarranted.
As the album progresses, I’ve found the material to decline, particularly with the dull “Galderians” which is a pedestrian ballad, sadly plugging a good deal of the pitfalls that bands such as Heavenly (or many other second/third rate power metal acts) make in these style of songs, not to mention that at six minutes plus, it’s going to be a definite skip. Furthering the decline in quality, they follow up the ballad with a mid-paced song that clocks in at over seven minutes and doesn’t offer much to warrant a longer run-time at all. Whilst it has a good chorus and picks up towards the end, it could certainly be cut down. They do energize things afterwards, but that’s an almost fifteen minute segment of the album where my buzz is well and truly killed.
I’ve gotten quite negative, so I’ll bring the party back up with some of the good elements on The Universality. The guitars are great, and the album is certainly packed with a load of fun riffs, the leads and melodies are pretty sweet as well. A lot of the material here sounds like Gamma Ray, which is mostly a good thing unless you’re striving to hear originality. Songs such as “Children Of The Earth”, “Farspace” and “Rising Soul” certainly show the album in it’s most beneficial light.
All in all I’d say The Universality will sate the appetites of those who enjoy acts such as Gamma Ray, Freedom Call, Heavenly, and so on and so forth. Whilst I personally feel the album is overlong and features too much in the way of filler, there is certainly no denying that when this is fun, its fun. Next time around it would be good to see the band offer up a tighter, more succinct release, as they’ve certainly displayed the chops here.
Chris’ rating 3.25 out of 5