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Excalion: Primal Exhale

This should have been the comeback album Stratovarius made. High praise? Maybe, but Excalion, a six-Finn band, sounds more like Stratovarius than Stratovarius does these days on the majestic debut CD, Primal Exhale. That's not to say the nine songs here burst with originality, but they do crackle with enthusiasm. Monumental hooks on epic tracks like "A Moment in the Spotlight" and "Obsession to Prosper," plus the beatific ballad "Heart & Home," elevate Excalion above the current incarnations of so many European power-metal bands. Singer Jarmo Pääkkönen (three umlauts!?) emerges as a Timo Kotipelto disciple with a slightly lower range, while keyboardist Jarmo Myllyvirta plays like Jens Johannsen used to back in the good ol' days when Strat let him shred. The fast-paced power metal isn't so fast that it loses sight of the actual songs, and Primal Exhale's overall pacing lends it balance and holds up to repeated listening. If you like this sort of stuff but have been in a rut with the countless bands that seem to make speedy, mindless music simply because they can, let Excalion revitalize you.

Track Listing:
1) Temptation Wasteland
2) A Moment in the Spotlight
3) Reality Bends
4) Dire Waters
5) Stage of Lies
6) Heart & Home
7) Megalomania
8) My Legacy
9) Obsession to Prosper

Added: December 7th 2005
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Official Excalion Web Site
Hits: 2287
Language: english

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