Melodic Death/Power Metal
FFO: Suidakra, Helloween, Hansen, Amon Amarth
Considering Celtic Hills formed in 2010; a whole decade has passed before the Italian band dropped their debut album ‘Blood over Intents’ earlier this year. Choosing to strike whilst the iron is hot, Celtic Hills have delivered their follow up release, their first EP ‘Schräge Music’.
Quite expectantly, ‘Schräge Music’ picks up almost exactly where the debut album left off and therefore what the listener gets here with this EP are obvious folk/metal leanings, but also something a little more tantalising. There are driving riffs here that have give this EP the machismo chest-beating of Manowar coupled with some early Helloween style rapid fire guitar playing from Jonathan Vanderbilt that would make Kai Hansen proud especially during the romping ‘The Guardian of the 7 Stars’. Yet, anyone expecting soaring power metal vocals is in for a shock as Vanderbilt delivers a vocal performance that is the equivalent of the bastard love child of Johan Hegg and Akki Antonik, but this really does make for some decent European power metal. However, there is more of a sense of fun here than accurateness; there may be a bass drum missing here and there, a guitar lasting long than it should or the vocals not quite sitting right at times that does make ‘Schräge Music’ feel like more like a demo than an actual EP.
Ultimately though, does this matter? The answer is well, no. This is the sound of a band doing what they do well and shows the human side to Celtic Hills. It might not be the best thing that you’ll ever hear and it won’t be anywhere near the worst.