Flidais - KazadorJudging a book by its cover is an age-old tradition, despite the advice of moms everywhere. Albums are much the same. For instance, if the cover is a black passe-partout around a black and white figure, with a logo, it’s usually a one-man black metal band. With the name of an ancient Celtic goddess and an album cover more lilac than the air freshener aisle in the local Wal-Mart, Flidais seem intent to have you believe they play some sort of flowery hippie folk metal, like the Grateful Dead with more distortion. Thank the deity of your choosing that appearances can deceive, because as it turns out, Kazador is one pleasant surprise from these young Canadians.

Flidais have delivered an EP with 6 songs that mix the refreshing directness of High Spirits with the playful technicality and modern sound of the latest Fates Warning, adding a dash of Judas Priest spice on the faster tracks. It all shows on the perfect opener: a powerful, rocking track about how much traffic sucks. The main riff is spot-on and engaging from the start, and the songwriting is clever enough to recognize how to get the most out of it without overstaying its welcome. This goes for every track and shows a band that’s mercifully self-aware and not afraid to edit a song down to its strongest components. As such, the EP has a brisk pace and 25 minutes go by before you know it.

All band members pull their weight equally. Clever guitar interplay abounds and the solos are practically flawless. The drums and bass provide a lively foundation, and thanks to the balanced mix, the latter can actually be appreciated properly. The biggest star is Calvin Warren’s excellent vocals. With clear, pitch perfect delivery and an archetypal heavy metal scream that crackles with energy, he’s a joy to listen to across the whole EP, particularly on speed metal track “High Stakes” where his belting prowess gets ample use.

Flidais 2016

The composition is another winner here, loading the songs with hooks while avoiding predictability. For example, “Hunter” and “Missing” employ counter-intuitive syncopation in the rhythm, keeping you on your toes throughout. “Resolve” is the only weak track, missing some of the infectiousness the rest of the EP emanates. While the riffs and strong melodies are at the band’s core, here it takes too long before the guitar work really digs in. The production is very modern, and though the mix is nice and includes the aforementioned audible bass, it does put the vocals overly up front and could be considered a tad flat. Nothing too bad, but there’s room for improvement.

Quibbles aside, Kazador is an absolute success, an excellent mix between the spirited eagerness of a young band with the self-assured gait of a more experienced outfit. With confidence, strong hooks, and a playful approach, Flidais are laying the groundwork for a career that will spawn more great albums, of this I’m sure. So don’t let the lilac goddess turn you off. This is one album you should not judge by its cover.

Rating: 3.5/5.0
DR: 6 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Self-released
Websites: flidaismusic.bandcamp.com | facebook.com/flidaismusic
Releases Worldwide: November 30th, 2016

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  • Wilhelm

    This is excellent, the music is nothing new but the composition and, especially, the vocals, are solid as hell.

  • Monsterth Goatom

    I like how they managed to include a solar panel on the cover.

    • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

      Where? can’t see it…

      • Monsterth Goatom

        On the woman’s left, some distance back.

  • Oscar Albretsen

    The Grateful Dead, but with more distortion… Now that would be fun. I’d love to hear metal covers of some dead songs. “Friend of the devil,” “Shakedown Street,” and “Box of Rain” could work as full on black metal, and it would be sweet to hear a good progressive band like Haken or Riverside tackle some of their more jammy-transcendent numbers like “Dark Star” and “Terrapin Station.” The dead had a pretty metal name and logo already…

    • Oberon

      BtB&M me covered Bicycle Race and Bohemian Rhapsody and I’m still left vaguely uneasy from hearing them…

      If Haken could put a Cockroach King spin on Terrapin Station, that would be something to see live

      • Oscar Albretsen

        For metal, GD works better than Queen, IMO

        • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

          Blind Guardian did an awesome cover of Queen’s “Spread Your Wings”.

    • The Unicorn

      FIRE ON THE MOUNTAIN!!!!! m/ m/

  • Asral

    This is pretty solid.

  • I can hear some Mountain King era Savatage going on here too.

  • herrschobel

    is it me or does this guitar sound like plastic ?

  • JL

    Eh, good riffs but those vocals are weak. If you want strong vocals check out the new Eternal Idol. Now THAT is an awesome record…every song is brilliant.

    • GardensTale

      Tried it on your recommendation but it sounds like pretty run-of-the-mill power metal to me, doesn’t excite me much. I prefer Angra’s latest in that style.

  • Tofu muncher

    Kinda remind me of early Rush and Maiden and I still can’t decide if it’s a good thing or not.

    • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

      Early Rush and Maiden it’s always a good thing!

  • itsmydamnation

    Interesting in some parts is voice sounds really weak and bad and the next second it sounds awesome…… Both the music and the vocals remind me of Judicator it sounds pretty good!

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    What’s a Kazador? It hurts my eyes to read the word because it’s the word “hunter” in Spanish spelled with a “k” instead of a “c”.

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    Loving the embedded track…