Cadacross - So Pale is the Light
Crash Music
Epic Metal
7 songs (38'31")
Release year: 2005
Crash Music
Reviewed by Alex
Surprise of the month

How does one make an epic metal album? You can write 20 min songs, hire an orchestra and umpteen singers. Or you can have it within you, play as a band, cross over many styles and never lose sight of what your inspiration was – to create that sound, classical, extreme and captivating at the same time. Finnish Cadacross have it within them, damned be the fact their website does not work and the booklet bears no info. If you judge the substance, not the cover, So Pale is the Light is one substantial epic album you don’t want to miss.

I started liking the album from the intro At the Heart of Night. If there was ever an intro that would serve as a perfect overture for what is to follow this instrumental is certainly it. Epic and glorious melody begins with keyboards, cymbal/high-hat join in to be followed by guitars which lay down the fabric and foundation continuing to trade leads with the earlier keyboards. Six more cuts continue in the same vein creating all those Viking images in my imagination. Yet Cadacross is not only about the battlefield. Just like in real medieval warfare (as much as I understand it from the books) there are phases in Cadacross music where warriors relax, dance around the campfire, praise their Gods and psyche themselves for a bloody confrontation. Cadacross achieves this feeling by using variety of moods and tempos. They can be folky and glorious one moment and totally dark forest mysterious the other (title track). Rhythms range from firedancing under moonlight to harsh and rapid snare hits. Epic beating wardrums and horns can become a weird waltz at any given moment (Turmion Taival).

Cadacross achieve uniqueness with their sound by touching on so many influences and transversing so many genres. If the beginning Might of Sword with its thrashy riffs feels like a lost track from Hatebreeder, but this is probably the only time when you can say that So Pale is the Light sounds like so-and-so. The album is as epic as Moonsorrow, but faster, has power metal overtones and keyboard melodies reminiscent of Norther, unbelievable way to incorporate classical melodies with the nod to Beethoven (Twilight) and very unusual vocal style. I was, at first, slightly put off by the weird back-in-the-mix whispers and rustling. Georg Laakso is not using the black metal vocal stylings of Ensiferum nor is he singing clean. Then it dawned on me that his style, very similar to Summoning, but without chorale effects, suits perfectly the archaic grand feeling of the album.

So, here you have it, Cadacross being a complex equation of Summoning vocals, Norther keyboards, some Children of Bodom riffs and Moonsorrow/Ensiferum spirit. An awesome mixture, if you ask me.

Killing Songs :
Twilight, Battle fo North, Might of Sword, Dawn Breaks Behind my Eyes
Alex quoted 88 / 100
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There are 9 replies to this review. Last one on Mon Dec 26, 2005 1:37 pm
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