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Galderia: Radio Unplugged Live In Poland

French power metal outfit Galderia release their first live album with a difference. As it's name suggests, Radio Unplugged Live In Poland is a document of the band's unplugged show in the studio of Radio Lodz. For the occasion Galderia enlisted the help of a 30 strong Polish choir as they reshaped songs from their back catalogue and performed four brand new compositions written especially for the occasion. Unusually, the make-up of the band for this album only features three of the five regular members of Galderia; singer and guitarist Seb Chabot, lead guitarist and singer Bob Saliba (also of the bands Debackliner, Ninmah, Stonecast, Bob Oliver Lee and Quiet Human) and keyboard player Julien Digne (Jail). With neither Tom Schmitt or JC Chicco in evidence, the line-up on stage is instead completed by percussionist Andrea Gianangeli from Dragonhammer. The result is for the sound to morph from the chest beating power metal this band usually serve up, into an acoustic, folk metal hybrid. Not having heard much by them before (Galderia have one previous album, The Universality, and a collection of demos and EPs behind them, although a new studio effort is due later this year) it's still impressive for a band likened to Gamma Ray or Sonata Arctica, to sound quite so comfortable in this setting. In fact, so convincingly removed from the power metal sound is this performance, that if you didn't, or don't, know this band's background, you'd never guess they don't sound like this all the time. Something confirmed by the excellent studio bonus version of "Pride And Courage" that's also included on the album. The same ethos of choirs, restrained lead vocals and acoustic guitar lines over gentle keyboards, recreated sympathetically.

The track also appears in the main set, the pensive slow build into a grandiose, if always gentle crescendo a feature throughout. If you were being critical, that adherence to a routinely similar approach does cause quite a lot of the thirteen songs to blend into one another, a sea of choral "Whoa, whoaaa, whoooaaaaa's" the basis for many of the songs to build beyond their acoustic strum and hand percussion beginnings. However with a strong sense of dynamics, an ear for an infectious melody and more opportunities for a sing along than the average night at a karaoke bar, it's hard not to like the results. There aren't any moments where the quality slides, although "Winged Warriors" and its uplifting beat and chorus, "Far Space" which does offer a gentle change of pace and "Grunwald" and its darting melody, prove highlights in an impressively consistent set. Radio Unplugged Live In Poland is sure to be an unexpected treat for both existing followers of Galderia and any fan of well crafted folk metal that possesses a strongly beating power metal heart.

Track Listing
1. Universal Glory
2. Beyond the Cosmic Winds
3. Rise Legions of the Free Men
4. Grunwald 1410 (Steel on Steel)
5. From Gaia to Galderia
6. Universality
7. Land of the Free Men
8. One Million Dreams
9. Winged Warriors
10. Call to the World
11. Far Space
12. Pride and Courage
13. Grunwald (Encore)
14. Pride and Courage (Studio Version)

Added: June 4th 2017
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Galderia online
Hits: 855
Language: english

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