Holy Creatures Quest
With all of the great releases that I've been finding on Metalodic Records, I decided to pick out Kerion's first album Holy Creatures Quest to familiarize myself with them before moving on to their latest effort. After having done so, I'm afraid my expectations for The Origins have become a bit stunted. I've spent a lot of time lately talking about how exciting and fresh the new symphonic power metal talent is, and now I run into this... thing.
Kerion is a French band and has more in common with Edenbridge than with, say, Nightwish. The lead female vocalist, Flora Spinelli, tends more towards the middle range without reaching extremely high. This is probably a good thing, because whenever she tries to reach a bit, her voice becomes quite thin and almost wavery. This is unfortunate, because the band really doesn't do a horrible job of choral vocals, and the leads actually serve to pull them down. Flora's vocals aren't absolutely atrocious, but I can think of a dozen better off of the top of my head.
What harms the band even further is the lack of catchy melodies. After the intro track, the second part of “The Last Quest” features probably the most memorable verse and chorus on the entire album. Unfortunately, this is pretty readily put to shame by the like of Rhapsody or Ancient Bards. The second two-part song, “Queen of the Gorgons”, is just plain dull (Spinelli has monotonous low vocals until about three minutes into the song) all the way through, but I perked up at the beginning of “Warrior's Call”, which sounded like it might have some real promise and a bit of edge. Unfortunately, this turned out to be the very worst vocal performance on the album, which ruined what might have been an otherwise acceptable symphonic power metal anthem. To their credit, Kerion's choral vocal sections remind me a bit of Fairyland's, and there are some good riffs thrown in here and there that hold some promise.
Despite some good rhythmic guitar riffing, the songs feel a bit muddy in composition. The melodic lines do not flow smoothly (though often enough, these are lacking anyways), and the band seems to rely too often upon instrumental sections to prolong and enhance their music. The problem with this is that while they seem to have intentions of writing epic music, they fall very flat instrumentally. There's precious little in the way of usual epic bombast to support the ridiculous lyricism and admittedly bland story. We power metal fans don't mind ridiculous titles and lyrics, but the line has to be drawn somewhere (namely, at poor to mediocre music).
This is not a very pleasant listen for people who enjoy well-established and talented power metal. Those just getting into the genre might find it thrilling and powerful for a little while, until they discover other, much more talented bands. Really, odds are that you're going to have heard an awful lot before you dig up this gilded piece of junk anyways, so just don't bother. Kerion and its lead vocalist are going to have to improve their game considerably (and maybe take some voice lessons) if they hope to make any sort of headway in their chosen field.
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The Protagonist's Rating: 3.75 out of 10
If you want to look up music from this album, be my forewarned guest.