Written by: TL on 21/07/2009 00:47:33

Anyone else out there sick of the stagnation in power metal? I know this is not a very objective way to start a review, but students of journalism should tell you that objectivity is non-existent anyway, so I'll settle for being honest: We here at Rockfreaks at least often feel like we've had more than our share of nondescript power metal thrown at us, however, having a "review fuckin' everything" policy has its drawbacks and some times one has to take one for the team and review some more of it. So here I am writing about a band called Saidian - Does it surprise anyone that they're from Germany?

Well, after listening to "Evercircle", I for one am a bit surprised, but more on that in a bit. First off, let's just establish that while the four dudes in Saidian walk the beaten path of power metal bands with faithful footsteps, they aren't quite as terribly boring as I would've expected. Sure you've got all the clichés stacked here: hyper-melodic 'Maiden worshiping guitar riffs, eighties sounding keyboards, overblown vibrato vocals, check, check and check. However, the reason I first thought Saidian were Swedish rather than German is that some of their tracks actually betray a good ear for melody, the kind of which has been Sweden's trademark ever since ABBA's EuroVision-winning days.

So enter first track "Out Of The Shadows" which comes at you with all guns blazing in a manner that's straight out of Dragonforce's playbook, except the structure of the song is kept tight, catchy and well.. a bit poppy. This might of course scare overly serious metal fans away, but I for one applaud that this band seems to embrace their genre as something that can also just be plain fun. The following cover of Tokyo's.. "Tokyo" (oh the creativity of the eighties) slows down the tempo and follows up on the catchy pop thing, and while the first track had you thinking of Dragonforce and 'Maiden, this is more in the vein of Europe. The same goes for the following "Solomon's Dance" which is also almost annoyingly catchy.

Then however, things start to go wrong for Saidian, as it seems like they decided on the fourth track that the pop thing was getting out of hand. A progressively changing ending, complete with wailing guitars alá Whitesnake, can't save the balladic "Once In My Dreams" from sounding like something that belongs in a bad musical, and the following "Pale Moon Rider" has similar problems. It's like the fun factor is swiftly seeping out of the album, making it sound more and more like that overly serious and ridiculous power metal I feared initially. "Stroke Of Genius" makes a rescue attempt with an easily memorable chorus, but even with that and the returning tempo of later tracks, things are beginning to feel a bit stale.

So while "Evercircle" has a small handful of catchy tracks and should be applauded for having moments that show power metal from a less clueless side than is normal, it still doesn't really bring anything new to the table. You might listen to it and enjoy it a bit if you are a sucker for the cornier songs by 'Maiden or just band's like Dragonforce in general, but that being said, it's hard to call this more than a fading highlight of a genre that hasn't moved an inch for some 10-20 years.


Download: Out Of The Shadows, Solomon's Dance, Stroke Of Genius
For The Fans Of: Dragonforce, Europe, Iron Maiden

Release Date 29.05.2009
Blistering Records

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