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Cellador: Enter Deception

It's the perfect heavy-metal movie script: Extreme power-metal band from Nebraska (from Nebraska!?) records demo, gets opening-gig slot for The Black Dahlia Murder in its hometown, and vocalist for headliner passes on said band's demo tape to record-label honcho, who 13 months later releases extreme power-metal band's debut CD. So goes the tale of Cellador, the Omaha outfit that landed at Metal Blade Records brandishing a sound that bridges Dragonforce and Stratovarius and singing songs about real life — although real life as seen through the eyes of guitarist Chris Petersen, who has a thing for creating colorful, scenic landscapes.

There is only so much creativity a band can lend to the confining extreme power-metal genre, so Cellador often sounds derivative and tends to repeat itself across Enter Deception's eight tracks. But when you consider this this polished group of musicians came galloping out of nowhere from the American Midwest on a label in desperate need of power-metal heroes, Cellador deserves any attention it gets.

Track Listing:
1) Leaving All Behind
2) A Sign Far Beyond
3) Never Again
4) Forever Unbound
5) Seen Through Time
6) Wakening
7) Releasing the Shadow
8) No Chances Lost

Added: June 8th 2007
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Official Cellador Web Site
Hits: 4412
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Cellador: Enter Deception
Posted by Murat Batmaz, SoT Staff Writer on 2007-06-08 16:41:45
My Score:

Rumour has it that it all started in 2005 when Cellador opened a show for The Black Dahlia Murder and managed to give them their demo which eventually landed in the office of Metal Blade, and from then on it all happened very quickly. However, what's more interesting is that all these years I've been listening to US metal bands I haven't come across one single group that successfully carries on in the Euro power metal style until now. Cellador is arguably the first and only American band that plays a distinct power metal style without delving into thrash-based rhythms and throaty vocal lines.

Consisting of eight tracks, the album packs unbridled speed, driven by ultra-fast double bass drums, grooving twin guitars, and searing, high-register vocals by Michael Gremio. This guy sounds so uncannily like Kiske in his heyday or Gamma Ray's Kai Hansen when he decides to tear the stratosphere with his maniacal screams, it's totally unbelievable. The energetic, fists-in-the-air opener "Leaving All Behind" kicks the album off in grand fashion, carried by pumping rhythms and crushing twin guitar harmonies while "A Sign Far Beyond", arguably the best cut on the album, drives their music into the more aggressive territory of power metal, perfected by mid-90's Gamma Ray. Cellador's songs boast irresistible choruses, as on "Forever Unbound" and the epic "Seen Through Time", both graced by the genre's hallmarks. The tasty guitar opening of "Wakening" belies that this song was actually released in 2006 as opposed to 1987 when Helloween-style power metal was taking the entire metal community by storm. Lyrically, unlike most Euro power metallers, Cellador focuses on more personal issues rather than fantasy-based themes or tales of knights and epic battles.

That said, Euro power metal genre is a pretty limited genre to expand on. Over the past two decades, everything has been done by countless bands, so it would be wrong to claim Cellador is by any stretch of the word doing anything remotely original or unheard of. However, judging by the songs on this disc, originality must be the band's last concern; they seem more interested in having fun while playing the music they enjoy. And in that, they are more than successful.

They've made a great start. Let's see what happens when they put out their sophomore album. Check Cellador out if you're into bands like Gamma Ray, Helloween, Edguy, Stratovarius, and Sonata Arctica -- or pretty much any other Euro power metal act.

Cellador: Enter Deception
Posted by Ken Pierce, SoT Staff Writer on 2006-08-28 12:59:37
My Score:

As you listen to the debut by the band Cellador it would seem that the future of Power Metal no longer lies at the hands of our European neighbors and instead has fallen to…Nebraska. Yes, I did say Nebraska and when the album begins you immediately are taken on a Power Metal ride that calls to mind the likes of Dragonforce and old Helloween with a twist of Gamma Ray tossed in for good measure. It's a strong debut for a band that was still quite new when they opened up for Black Dahlia Murder and were able to hand their demo over to the label President and subsequently find themselves with a record deal. Surely this was not only a case of timing and luck, but also included their measure of skills and overall potential to move forward as a Heavy Metal rising star. Overall potential is definitely the key here as there is a lot of tasty Metal to absorb in both vocal style and musicianship. The band is made up of Michael Gremio (vocals), Chris Petersen (lead guitar), David Dahir (drums), Valentin Rakhmanov (bass) and Bill Hudson (lead and keys); the members of the band range from 17 to 23 years of age. Despite their young ages, you should not be deterred from the band by this as they play with a level of technical expertise that will have fans of this type of Metal influx banging their heads at mind-boggling speeds. Opener "Leaving All Behind" really reminded me of listening to a young Michael Kiske and "A Sign Far Beyond" had some Dragonforce vibe to it and perhaps that is the fault that they must overcome. There is perhaps a little too much familiarity in the songs across the album. There are no cloned songs but they do keep a certain feel rolling on all of the eight songs on the debut. Lyrics are provided in the booklet and as you leaf through them you will see the main difference in this band, for while Power Metalists, they are not singing about far away and fantasy places but instead things that affect our daily lives. I admit that I was blown away by the displays on guitars, vocals and drums myself and when you are a fan of Power Metal in general you tend to approach a new band with a level of caution. I can say to fans like myself that there is no caution necessary when it comes to these guys. Make room for Cellador, because even if you don't you are not going to stop them from rolling over you.

Cellador: Enter Deception
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2006-07-06 18:34:22
My Score:

Holy Helloween Batman!!! That's the first thing most listeners will think of when throwing on this new CD from Nebraska's Cellador. With a singer in Michael Gremio who sounds like a dead ringer for former Helloween vocalist Michael Kiske circa the Keeper of the Seven Keys era, the music that the band creates also features those familiar double bass drums, speedy rhythms and dual harmony leads, keyboards, and layers of backing vocals. Sound familiar? Well, it all does, and that's not to say that the music on i>Enter Deception is not enjoyable, because it damn sure is. Tunes like "Seem Through Time" and "A Sign Far Beyond" are plenty anthemic and contain a wide assortment of catch melodies and flashy playing. Along with killer production from Erik Rutan (ex-Morbid Angel, current Hate Eternal), who shows great skill at handling a non-death metal band here, the album is crisp, professional sounding, and for the most part pretty impressive.

So, as long as you are not looking for something completely different, Cellador's debut is sure to please fans of Helloween, Edguy, Stratovarius, Hammerfall, Sonata Artica, and Kamelot.

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