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Excalion
Dream Alive
August 2017
Released: 2017, Scarlet Records
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: JP

This well-regarded Finnish Power Metal band has always been popular with the reviewers here at Metal-Rules.com. We have been pretty favourable to them over the course of the first three studio albums and I am not going to change that trend! DREAM ALIVE is another excellent album!



Excalion are back (thankfully!) after a seven-year absence, a long break since their 2010 album, HIGH TIME. In the meantime the band has left Limb Records and signed on with the noted Italian label Scarlet Records. Unfortunately perhaps (in the opinion of some) there have been some pretty big line-up changes. The guitarist, bassist and singer have all been replaced which could spell tragedy for any band losing major components…however, the keyboardist Jarmo is the founder of the band and writes all the music so it is not as tragic as it could have been. He is after still the core of the band and he is keeping the dream alive, which I suppose has something to do with his choice of album title. His skill at writing speedy, melodic, euro-Power Metal tunes is top notch and there is not a noticeable difference in terms of composition and arrangement from the previous albums.



One noticeable difference is the new voice of Marcus Lang. His clear and powerful voice is perfect for this type of material. His tone and range are high and he takes it into the stratosphere in the finest tradition of other classic Finnish Power Metal singers like Kolipelto and Kakko. As on prior efforts the keyboard intense, layered and melodic sound is squeaky clean and produced to perfection. Everything blazes along like the polar express, so flawless in it’s own Finnish style.



DREAM ALIVE still slightly adheres to the water or aquatic theme that has graced other Excalion albums, even the album cover has a panoramic vista of a rugged but beautiful coastline and a sailing ship offshore. The hour-long album flies by, largely because it is so fast, everything seems to soar by like good Power Metal should. Even the 11 minute closer, ‘Portrait On The Wall’ never drags and it is by far the most progressive and longest song they have ever composed.



There are many bands in this style sitting comfortably the second level of supremely well-executed Finnish melodic Power Metal, bands such as Altaria, Dreamtale, Celesty and more and Excalion with the right breaks could be as big and known as the elite of the style, namely the Stratovarious and Sonata Arctica’s. DREAM ALIVE takes Excalion one-step closer to that dream.
Track Listing

1. Divergent Falling
2. Centenarian
3. Marching Masquerade
4. Amelia
5. Release the Time
6. One Man Kingdom
7. Deadwater Bay
8. The Firmament
9. Man Alive
10. Living Daylights
11. Portrait on the Wall

Lineup

Marcus Lång Vocals
Aleksi Hirvonen Guitar
Henri Pirkkalainen Drums
Tero Vaaja Guitar, Bass
Jarmo Myllyvirta Keyboards

Contact

N/A

Other reviews

» Promo 2004
by Rick

» Primal Exhale
by Rick

» Waterlines
by Chaosankh

» High Time
by Thorsten Zwingelberg

» Dream Alive
by JP


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