KALEDON – Mightiest Hits

The Italian Power Metal band KALEDON needs no introduction anymore. But I’ll go through it all again, though. I got to know about them about 8 years ago or so, at which time I purchased their first two albums, “Chapter 1: The Destruction” (2002) and “Chapter 2: The King’s Rescue” (2003). These were part of a 6-chapters long story, sort of like, for example, RHAPSODY has done (only longer) and ANCIENT BARDS is doing (not yet completed). Of course the production on those first two albums was poor compared to how the guys worked on “Chapter 3: The Way Of The Light” (2005), for which they hired Jörg Michael (STRATOVARIUS) to do the drums, since long-time drummer David Folchitto had left the band, but not without first playing the parts that Jörg needed to record. Everything improved with that third album: the music, the production, the musicianship, and yes, Claudio Conti’s vocals.

Then came “Chapter 4: Twilight Of The Gods” (2006), probably KALEDON’s fastest album and somehow their strongest at that time. Fans of fast Power Metal had a real treat here. But this also meant the last stop for vocalist Claudio Conti, due to various differences, of which the musical ones probably also played a role. In any case, I don’t know what happened and that’s not important in the story. Only in the band’s biography, if their ever wish to, say, publish a book about it. In came Marco Palazzi. He has a lower voice with a rough edge. Perfect for Hard Rock and (depending on the music) Heavy/Power Metal too. This in contrast to Claudio’s high-pitched singing, which was a sort of black spot. “Chapter 5: A New Era Begins” (2008) was the perfect title for this new start. The style also changed a bit, more Hard Rock oriented, though the band didn’t forget to add the obligatory Power Metal tracks here and there.

“Chapter 6: The Last Night On The Battlefield” was released in 2010 and concluded the story. This is perhaps (yes, perhaps, as it is also subject to taste) the best KALEDON album to date, on all levels. Plus, it brought back the Power Metal that made KALEDON a band to check out. Prior to this release however, there was the live release “Roaming The Land” (2009), which hasn’t seen the light yet (certainly not on DVD – still in the fridge), save as mp3 on iTunes, if I recall correctly.

So far I’ve had the pleasure and honour to review each KALEDON album over the years and this also had an influence on my writings, of course. The band grew and so did the length of the reviews. See here (“Chapter 1”), here (“Chapter 2”), here (“Chapter 3”), here (“Chapter 4”), here (“Chapter 5”), here (“Roaming The Land”) and here (“Chapter 6”).

Before offering new on a new album, the guys wanted to provide old and new fans with a summary of the past six albums. “Mightiest Hits” is the title of the double CD that was released in January 2012. The first disc features one previously unreleased track (track 1), re-recordings (entirely or just the vocals) of songs off the first 4 albums (two per album, tracks 2 till 9) and two songs off “Chapter 5” (tracks 10 and 11) and “Chapter 6” (tracks 12 and 13) respectively. The second disc is filled with the demos that preceded the studio albums.

The first of the hits is the unreleased “Steel Maker”. A left-over from the “Chapter 6” sessions? It begins with melodic building and you can sense that a speedier part is to follow. So it happens. Catchy melodies, fast double-bass Power Metal, … typical KALEDON. Instant effect! The verses are firm and this goes well with the low, dark voice of Marco. Full melodicness, with a hymnic feel, can be heard in the chorus. The solos come from the guitar and keyboards, taking turns. Why wasn’t this song on the band’s last album? This is very good. And so the journey to the past begins. “In Search Of Kaledon”. It’s a fast track, obviously, and everything was re-recorded, music and vocals. This gives the song a more mature sound, feel and character. The arrangements are also better worked out and this has mainly an effect on the keyboards.

“Desert Land Of Warrios” is also a high tempo song. It’s a dark one and with the re-recording the keyboards come out more, are more prominent. To the point they can be annoying after a while, because they linger between the riffs and vocals. The chorus is fast, with David’s typical drumming. But somehow this re-recording sounds forced, or like the band is playing on automatic pilot. Maybe because the guys have played so many times. Still, the production helps make it all sound better and (especially, in my humble opinion) David’s drumming stands out, not in the least the kickdrums.

Several years ago, KALEDON shot a video for “The New Kingdom”, a fast and catchy song. But since it was a low budget video, and due to the nature of the video itself, it did get the name KALEDON out, no matter how much growth there still was in the band’s music. This re-recorded version with Marco’s vocals sounds better, more mature. The redone keyboards also are an improvement over the original. Another job well done, if you ask me. “The Frozen Dawn” is a ballad and better than the original, it’s sounds smoother.  “Mighty  Son Of The Great Lord” was not re-recorded, if my ears didn’t fool me. Except perhaps the drums, for they sound different than Jörg’s recordings. So either David re-recorded those parts, or his original parts were used, the ones he recorded before he left the band a first time. About the song: it’s one of the best songs the band has written and hearing with Marco’s voice… it fits. It’s not that Marco’s singing contrasts with the music, which was the case with Claudio’s high-pitched voice, which also was quite good on the original.

Since “Great Night In The Land” also comes off “Chapter 3”, the same drum remarks apply here. The song is built first, then the uptempo stuff kicks in. Marco does a good job here and fit very well because of the rough edge, something Claudio didn’t have. But to each his style, of course. “Clash Of The Titans”, one of the fast tracks on “Chapter 4”, was not re-recorded. Only Marco’s input was recorded. The result is good, no real complaints from my part. The same for “New King Of Kaledon”. The last four tracks come directly off “Chapter 5” and “Chapter 6”. See the reviews for more info. 😉

Since “Chapter 1: The Destruction” the curve in terms of quality has only gone up for KALEDON. Or was it a straight line going upwards? Over the years I’ve heard the band improve on all levels, getting stronger with each release and it made me happy, as cheesy as it may sound. For fans of the band, “Mightiest Hits” is, all in all, a very nice overview of the past six albums. For people new to KALEDON, this is actually an interesting release to start with. You can complain about the chosen tracks, but it’s not a coincidence the band titled this release with the word hits, also to attract possible new fans. With the story finished and a new drummer in the line-up, Luca Marini, KALEDON is ready for new adventures, but first they have to play several more gigs before planning those adventures.


Disc 1

  1. Steel Maker (Previously Unreleased)
  2. In Search Of Kaledon
  3. Desert Land Of Warriors
  4. The New Kingdom
  5. A Frozen Dawn
  6. Mighty Son Of The Great Lord
  7. Great Night In The Land
  8. Clash Of The Titans
  9. New King Of Kaledon
  10. The End Of The Green Power
  11. The God Beyond The Man
  12. Surprise Impact
  13. Demons Away

Disc 2

  1. In Search Of Kaledon (Demo)
  2. Spirit Of The Dragon (Demo)
  3. Thunder In The Sky (Demo)
  4. God Says Yes (Demo)
  5. Army Of The Undead King (Demo)
  6. Desert Land Of Warriors (Demo)
  7. God Says Yes (Demo)
  8. Thunder In The Sky (Demo)
  9. Desert Land Of Warriors (Demo)
  10. Home (Demo)
  11. New Soldiers For A New Army (Demo)


Marco Palazzi – vocals
Alex Mele – guitar
Tommy Nemesio – guitar
Daniele Fuligni – keyboards
Paolo Lezziroli – bass
David Folchitto – drums