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Aldaria: Land Of Light
Aldaria Land Of Light CD Album Review

Aldaria: Land Of Light

Melodic/Symphonic/Power Metal
4.0/5.0

Two years in the making, and with a cast of all-star musicians, Memorized Dreams guitarist Frode Hovd introduces his new project, Aldaria, and debut album, Land Of Light. As for the participants, the guest musicians are a who's who of melodic heavy metal in Europe. As for the concept or story, that isn't all that straight forward. Suffice to say, it's a mixture of sci-fi, fantasy, and apocryphal Christian themes. You can read more about the cast and concept in this PDF document.

Frode Hovd Photo

Frode Hovd

Having listened to Land Of Light once, and then reading the promotional information about Hovd's Aldaria, I couldn't help but have a little deja vu. Hovd is essentially stealing, or perhaps more politely, mimicking a page out of the Tobias Sammet and Avantasia book of "how to do" a heavy metal opera. That's not to say that Aldaria is like having warmed up leftovers for dinner. But the overarching concept of a project of this kind is the same. Hovd wrote the story and the music, then got a shitload of very talented musicians to perform the music for him.

Musically, Hovd's approach is similar to the metal opera genre. At the core is traditional melodic heavy metal, then swiftness of power metal is tossed in, and maybe some mild progressive metal twists. Then add some synth orchestral layers to give the arrangements some lush depth. Guitar solos are abundant. But unlike the vocalists, which are many and varied, lead guitar solos are almost entirely performed by Jimmy Hedlund of Falconer. It seemed it bit strange to me that Hovd didn't add any.

As for the songs, they basically fit the melodic power metal schemata, with shifts in tempo at times. Good examples would include Test Of Time, Answers In A Dream, Where Reality Ends, among others. But there is the slower anthem which builds upon a strong piano line, synth orchestration, and the voice of Mathias Blad, also from Falconer. But the bottom line here is that it all works together and sounds equally impressive.

While the metal opera project is not new to us and the conceptual story a bit hokey, Frode Hovd's Aldaria and Land Of Light delivers a fine album of epic and entertaining melodic power metal. Recommended.

Aldaria - Guardians Of The Light (Official Lyric Video)



CraigHartranft.net - New fiction, crime fiction by Craig Hartranft

The Bottom Line

While the metal opera project is not new to us and the conceptual story a bit hokey, Frode Hovd's Aldaria and Land Of Light delivers a fine album of epic and entertaining melodic power metal. Recommended.

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