Kerion – Cloudriders: Age Of Cyborgs

Kerion
Cloudriders: Age Of Cyborgs
Label: Beyond The Storm Productions
Out: June 3rd, 2022
Playing time: 55:43

Seven years ago there was the last sign of life of the French Symphonic Metal band Kerion (“CloudRiders Part 2: Technowars”). After that it became quiet. Now, shrunk to a trio, the musicians are back. They have a new story of the Cloudriders, “Age Of Cyborgs”, in their luggage. For the production of the album, the band obviously had to invite guest and session musicians. However, only other singers are mentioned. But I think Kerion also had to provide reinforcements on the instruments. The album was mixed and mastered by Damien Rainaud (Dragonforce, Fairyland, Fear Factory). The artwork was created by GENZOMAN (known for his involvement with World of Warcraft and Marvel).

The intro “Riders Theme (Age of Cyborgs)” is dominated by strings, choruses but also industrial sounds. And you can hear it very clearly, this is a concept album on which a story is told, a fighting story. And since telling it through the songs alone is not enough, there are a lot of explanatory spoken words. But there is also music, of course. “Nova Prime” starts with frantic sounding synths before all the Symphonic Metal power comes out. Plus, the alternation between female and male clear vocals. And the synths remain omnipresent. But then the next spoken words follow. With a lot of pathos. “Red Squad” is obviously a (para)-military troupe. A little less synths, at least at the beginning, but more drum power and somewhat harder female Rock vocals. Of course, always underpinned by epic choruses. And the dominance of industrial synths continues on “One Way Love”. Thanks to some flute passages, this ballad occasionally has a folk atmosphere. In between, the song becomes a midtempo rocker. “Nowhereland” delivers a contrast programme with synths, heavy riffs and then again with horns. Engine noises can be heard in “Final Race”, before it continues according to the same pattern. The spherical sounds at the beginning of “Virtual Rhapsody” also provide little variety at first. The beautiful guitar melody enhances the song a bit. But all in all, the band also falls short of expectations here. “Global Annihilation” is the attempt to create a monumental epic on the album. With more than ten minutes of playing time, this is by far the longest track. Melody and rhythm changes as well as several different singers and again epic choruses provide a Progressive edge. Towards the end there is a catastrophe, a nuclear bomb inferno obviously ends the fighting between cyborgs and humans. Electric Requiem” sounds correspondingly melancholic at the end. That this ballad-like song is the best song on the album for me says a lot.

For me, “CloudRiders Part 1: Road to Skycity” was an outstanding album and “CloudRiders, Part 2: Technowars” a very good one. I also liked the 2010 work “The Origins” very much. My expectations were accordingly high. But “Cloudriders: Age Of Cyborgs” could not fulfil them by far.  Obviously, the story of the CloudRiders has worn itself out. And with three concept albums in a row, the arc of suspense can no longer be maintained. It’s like many cinema films. A very good first part. The sequel is already weaker. And all subsequent parts only lukewarm. Maybe Flora Spinelli and her bandmates should change the subject now. And release an album without a dominant story. 

Kerion – Final Race (Single Version) Feat. Vitor Veiga (Aquaria) (Official Lyric Video): https://youtu.be/Gx7rYlp4-6s

Lineup:

Flora Spinelli – Vocals
Remi Carrayrou – Lead-, Rhythm-Guitars
Stephane Papasergio – Bass

Additional vocals by Elisa C. Martin (Dark Moor, Fairyland), Raphael Dantas (Ego Absence), Vitor Veiga (Aquaria)
Choirs by Phil Giordana (Fairyland)

Track list:

  • Riders Theme (Age of Cyborgs)
  • Nova Prime
  • The Mission
  • Red Squad
  • One Way Love
  • The Desert
  • Nowhereland
  • Final Race
  • Virtual Rhapsody
  • Alert
  • Cyborg Hunt
  • Before the Storm
  • Global Annihilation
  • Electric Requiem
  • 7/10
    Album - 7/10
  • 8/10
    Cover-Art - 8/10
  • 7/10
    Songwriting - 7/10
7.3/10
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