Dynamic power metal duo

-- Galladorn --

Stijn Daneels

Album genres:
Power metal
Album artists:
Chris Johansson Multi-instrumentalist
Craig Cairns Vocalist

Review written by David Hardy.

If I tell you it's metal, no, that doesn't help. If I tell you about a rise worthy of a good old "Accept" and then a percussion and a regularity that really looks more like a well-oiled Gatling than the 6 shots of an inspector Derrick, well, that already gives you more of an idea. If I also tell you that the guitars reinforce this machine of mass destruction, then you have a good basis for understanding what "The Cauldron Born" is all about: power metal! The construction is rather nice and allows this 5-minute long track to go through different stages without being weighed down by repetitions or compositional facilities that would make the track boring to death. Not the case here, it's clean, at times innovative, always well felt and in the idea of the piece.


“The Cauldron Born” is the first original composition of Galladorn and so Chris Johansson (the multi-instrumentalist) finally gets out his fangs and shows us what he's got in his head and his guts all along. And for a first try, well, we're not going to lie, he proves that he totally understands the idea and that he has learned his lessons well! I just have a little trouble with the guitar solo tonal change at 3:35 but I think I'm the only one who finds it a bit weird/odd!

The late 80s/early 90s metal influences are totally assumed by the band as their first two tracks released are covers of Hammerfall’s “The Dragon Lies Bleeding” and Iced Earth’s “Dark Saga.” Personally I prefer their cover of "The Dragon Lies Bleeding" more because for me, Hammerfall’s blood-pumping, optimistic beats are better suited to Galladorn’s own strengths than Iced Earth’s darker and heavier style.

Note that this is a duo, Craig does all the vocals and Chris does all the instruments, so it's quite impressive to see so much technique and accomplishment into one single instrumentalist! And, for good measure, I must also say that singer Craig is totally the right person to stick to Chris' sound and so it sounds perfectly fine! No excesses, no risky attempts, you can feel that he also masters his “instrument” (referring to his voice, of course) and that this already present dynamic will allow Galladorn to more easily move to the next level in terms of compositions! So, even though there’s a literal between the two protagonists (Chris hails from the US & Craig from the UK), when the musical language is the same, there’s always a way to make something good!

Interesting "coincidence,” when you search for "Galladorn" on the internet you’ll find a medieval fantasy themed LARP group with the same name in the Kentucky region! If you make a quick comparison with the inspiration for the song which is the fantasy novel series "The Chronicles of Prydian" by Lloyd Alexander ... you can legitimately ask yourself the question: "Are our two friends medievalists/role-players as well?” (Dear Galladorn, if any of you are reading this, don't hesitate to send us your answer, it will satisfy my curiosity).


What else is there to say? Simply that for me Galladorn’s debut single “The Cauldron Born” is a sweet little aperitif that makes me hungry for more with is everything you ask for from a debut single! The only thing I'm a bit afraid of is that with so much talent, Chris is a bit too engaged with guitar soloing that it seems like an endless demonstration. No need for that, your British singing friend is good enough for this, so no need to go overboard.

After covering Hammerfall & Iced Earth in the past, Galladorn’s debut original single finally shows us a glimpse of the band’s true potential. A smashing single inspired by late 1980s and early 1990s power metal performed solely by two guys who know and love the classics. If you enjoy the likes of Helloween or Blind Guardian then check this out!