Galderia - Return of the Cosmic MenI know you. You’re like me. You took one look at that hein(ie)ous album title, shook your head, and reported yourself to HR.1 The obliquely-named Return of the Cosmic Men marks the second effort from French power outfit Galderia, a band whose 2012 debut The Universality was decent but notable only for its group of eight vocal contributors. If Galderia wanted to beat my exceedingly low expectations, they were going to have to show me something special. But like an ace pitcher telling an overmatched batter that he’s throwing three fastballs, Galderia fires off an untouchable barrage of energetic power metal that leaves you sorry you doubted them.

A name like “Shining Unity” belongs on a Freedom Call album, and indeed the opener harbors much of the Germans’ uplifting nature. However, Freedom Call wish they could write a track this catchy. Galderia spread the cheese and spread it thick. Gamma Ray riffing, harmonious vocal-centricity, and a full-bodied production live the power metal dream. When I think of power metal, this is exactly what I want: upbeat, exciting, hook-laden cheese that gets me singing and stamping my feet like I’m trying to keep up with Mick Harris. “Shining Unity” blasts through triumphant melody after sing-along chorus, settling only for a helping of solo n’ gallops with a side of a clean piano bridge. Axe duo Seb Chabot and Thomas Schmitt and bassist Bob Saliba trade lead vocals throughout Return, combining for a varied Euro-power buffet with takes as wide as Kai Hansen, Chris Bay, and Nils Patrik Johanssen. When keyboardist Julien Dagne joins the trio on backing vox, as he often does, the hooks take on a layered choir quality and compel you to bounce and nod and sing, dammit, sing.

Pressed for a reason for why I unconsciously ramp up the volume over the course of the spin, I immediately turn to the pep of the choruses. They embody the best of Galderia, a rising tide that lifts even the weaker cuts. Second-slated “Blue Aura” serves up some well-cooked Meat Loaf, while the rising vocals of midpoint “Celestial Harmony” join the galloping leads in perfect harmony. Staccato chords play off “Harmony’s” harmony and, by God, when the brimming vocal booth cries in jolly unison that “We! Believe! In love a-gain,” I’m calling up my better half to put words into action. Return is innately simple, however. “High Up in the Air” is a good attempt at “Blue Aura”-lite but highlights the album’s dependency on its choral earworms. When applied to the throttled-down “Living Forevermore” and ballad “Wake Up the World,” a sense of stagnation leaves you waiting for the next high-flier to come along. The latter track is rendered largely moot by finale “Wake Up the World 2.0,” a Gloryhammer-meets-club-beat sequel to a ballad we wrapped up only fifteen minutes prior. Neither version sets the universe on fire — in fact, the central synth portions of “2.0” are the only memorable aspect of the combined experience. The track arrangement could use some work too. For an album this fun, the cantering “Pilgrim of Love” and the decidedly non-metal “Wake Up the World 2.0” make for a poor finish.

Galderia 2017

Don’t let the niggling issues fool you though — Return is a hell of a lot of fun. The record has an Avantasian sense of showmanship, unsurprisingly given the presence of Mikko Karmila (Avantasia, Sonata Arctica) in the mix. While some of the individual vocal performances are stronger than others, the full thrust of their combined talents rarely fails to compel. As you might expect from an album with four singers and five instruments, the offering can be quite busy. The production puts its chips on the overall package, giving the individual instrumentation short shrift. If their solos are anything to go by, Schmitt and Chabot have chops, but the clarity of their leads are sadly sacrificed in the name of compositional unity.

I will be the first person to tell you there’s room for improvement, but when Return of the Cosmic Men brings the heat, I can’t turn it off. Its peaks alone propel it past Freedom Call’s recent output. With some refinement, Galderia will be doing soaring, inspirational power metal as well as anyone in the game. Not brutal enough? You bet. Can’t get enough? You bet.


Rating: 3.5/5.0
DR: 7 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Massacre Records
Websites: galderia.net | facebook.com/GalderiaOfficial
Releases Worldwide: July 21st, 2017

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  1. HR is for the elite. – Grier

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  • André Snyde Lopes

    …little did they know that “galdéria” is portuguese for prostitute.

    • Whoopsie!

    • Goldicot

      “Prostitute” is a great name for a power metal band.

    • ssorg

      “Never go down again” ah lyrics make sense now

      • Flämmer

        I’ll never eat pussy again…

        • WhamBamSam

          Not with that attitude, you won’t!

    • Oh, they know.

      • metalcasket

        With lyrics such as “Ho! Can’t you see the signs?”, I’m almost certain they do.

    • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

      Filhos de galdéria!

    • Erick Ribeiro

      Portuguese from Portugal?

      • André Snyde Lopes

        Yep.

        • Erick Ribeiro

          Holy Galdéria.

    • RuySan

      I would say it’s more “Slut” than “Prostitute”. It’s a great name for a Power Metal band either way.

  • Goldicot

    Why does power metal so often have no power behind it? And why do I comment exclusively in rhetorical questions?

    • ssorg

      Because… the power comes from the SWORD! The sword made of STEEL! gives power to the hero who WEILDS! The power that fate will REVEEEEEEAAAL!

      What was the question again?

  • I cannot deny my love of power metal. This is right up my alley. I’m gonna run home and, blast this music and sword fight with the kids!

    • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

      You have just discovered the best way to get kids into Power Metal!
      The next logical step would be to get them into Black Metal when they’re teenagers. But please don’t take them on a church burning excursion.

      • The kids love metal (and music in general). I have not hidden any style of music that I enjoy from them so we will go from listening / singing along to Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat one dinner to Manowar the next and so on. I’ve never taken them to a church burning excursion, probably mainly because I’ve never been on one myself.

        • basenjibrian

          I would suggest a visit to One Infinite Loop then. Wooden Stave Churches are nothing. The Apple cult, however, must fall.

          • That’s going to be tough, I live in Chicagoland. We could go after Kraft, maybe?

          • NuddhistPunk

            Why bother Kraft why there’s a perfectly good Trump property in Chicago?

          • Are you trying to get me on a terrorist watch list?

        • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

          Raising your kids on Manowar? You are a great father.

  • Malhorne

    I like this cheese, the chorus of the embedded track is damn catchy!

  • A part of me wants to watch Thatguy tormenting this patchwork photo.

    That guy on the right:
    “Duuuude, really?!”

    • Thatguy

      Well done.

      But all too easy. Like beating puppies – my favourite expression this weekend.

      • Mollusc

        Sorry…! These guys are definitely old enough to know better, though.

  • Absolomb

    Wow, it’s the bad band photos day.
    I mean this is Power Metal so it always going to be cheesy but oh my…there must be a line and they must have eyes.

    • I thought that was every day?

      • Absolomb

        I think I need to start paying more attention to them.
        It’s only today with Wintersun’s photo that I really looked at them and their a good laugh.

        • If you have time, go back and look up Emerald “Reckoning Day” as the review on this site had one of the best band photos I’ve ever seen.

          • Dr. Wvrm

            Good memory. Brutal green screening, ridiculous faces, the singer couldn’t be bothered to put out his cig, that thing was a modern masterpiece.

          • Absolomb

            That one’s just perfect, I got a good laugh.
            I actually like that one cause you can tell they don’t take themselves too seriously,

          • That is one of a GEM (snare / cymbal hit). Dr. Wvrm hit the nail on the head with the cigarette, what a G the guy on the right is.

  • Serjien

    Because we don’t already have enough power metal albums to listen as it is.. thanks guys!

  • CarvedInStone

    I would be very into this if it wasn’t for the weak vocalist.

  • Monsterth Goatom

    So, like, you know how when you’re out at the farm shooting gophers, and, when you’re crouching down there with your rifle scanning the horizon, and one suddenly pops up out of a hole, and you feel that flush of excitement and energy? That’s kind of how I felt when the word “Gloryhammer” popped up.

    • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

      This comment would be so great on that Dzö-nga review… You only have to say that instead of a gopher what popped out of the hole was that thing on the cover.

      • I hope you have something more powerful than a rifle against that big bastard!

  • METAL OTTER

    16 Jul 17 on AMG: Ewigkeit – Cosmic Man Review
    21 Jul 17 in AMG: Galderia – Return of the Cosmic Men Review

    Too soon…

  • CANNIBALdinner

    you like a lot of fucking gay metal dude…

    • Dr. Wvrm

      You bet your sweet ass I do.

    • Nukenado

      Well shit, never heard of a gay pornogrind band.

  • AnnieK13

    When I think power metal, I think Kamelot, Amorphis..Iced Earth…so I thought I was a power metal fan but the last few “power metal” albums I’ve heard – just NO..well, I do like UTA but this, this is just going too far for my taste.

    • What about Helloween? They were an innovative group in the 80s and helped create / define the genre. Of course, some probably wish they never would have done so, but I really did them.

  • Thatguy

    This puppy needs beating.

  • Tofu muncher

    the title Living Forevermore and Pilgrim of Love sold me. Ah France with their power metal. Gonna mix this one with Heavenly…

  • Carlos Marrickvillian

    3.5… I think the good doctor has been raiding the medicine cabinet.
    This needs rescoring.

    – Whoah that album cover -2
    – Lol, they called the band Galadria, which I believe is a lost episode of Battle Star Galactica where the Ceylons dress up as little fairies and bake cakes to fool Star Buck. -1
    – Flagrant bandanna wearing an automatic -2
    – OMG the video (-2 lyric video), holy shit the lyrics (-1) and the chorus bit where he goes woah OOo…. (-1) = -4
    – They made 4 terrible lyric videos to promote album -1

    OTH

    – These guys have a decent shot at Eurovision glory +2
    – Summoning some meatloaf +2 but serving it with out dashboard lighting (-1 penalty)
    – Returning as Cosmic Men just in time to save the world +1
    – Rocking some aviator sunnies in band photo +1
    – Guitar solo in High Up in the Air +1
    – Singer is a real belter (+2) but repetitive and annoying (-1) = -1

    According to my infallible scoring system this is a solid -1.
    I believe with a bit of work they could one day reach the height of label mates Blind Seer. They just need to change their band name, get rid of the bandana guy and maybe swap instruments for a while.

    • Dr. Wvrm

      Whoa whoa whoa, do we have a problem with Paradise by the Dashboard Light?

  • Danny

    Fucking love this cheesy bullshit. Sign me right the fuck up.

  • Kevin Zecchel

    I looked at that art and name, and new exactly what I was going to get and I loved every second of it. The chorus of Blue Aura is amazing!

  • HeavyMetalHamster

    No no no……
    Have all the great melodies already been written?
    This is paint by numbers PM……well executed and dull AF.

    When will the next Epica or Winterheart’s Guild or Flame To The Ground Beneath be released? !

    Surely there remains one band that can rise above the litany of PW drabble that has been released lately????

    Foda isso……also Portuguese

  • Thorbjørn Thaarup

    Thank you for leading me to this album! I love it. The best power metal albums for me this year.