Switzerland is known by their chocolate, Alps and banks by the majority of people. But we, the underground dwellers prefer other Swiss jewels like folk metal bands. The most known is, of course, Eluveitie but we can add another name to the Swiss scene: Caladmor.
I’ve just finished listening to “Of stones And Stars”, Caladmor’s sophomore album, and I must say it really caught my attention. There are several aspects I enjoy in band’s sonority, so I’ll just focus my next lines on them.
First, the voices: the use of male growls combined with female vocals, although nothing out of the ordinary resulted quite well. Also the occasional third (cleaner) voice was well placed. Adding to all of this some choirs and the result is very epic, giving body to the music and taking the listener to faraway places. In particular, the voice of Babs Brawand reminds me several female front-end bands like Within Temptation, Midnattsol or Xandria because she can sing in different tunes.
Second, the lyrics: Switzerland is an amalgamation of different people and languages, perhaps that is one of the reasons that led the band to sing their songs in four different ones, being English, German, Middle High German and Old Norse. Apart the English language, which is obviously the most international, the other ones emphasize the folk ambiance and sometimes grant an aura of mystic to the music.
Third, the music: I really love folk music and by that I mean to include several sub-genders like black folk, epic, fantasy, troll, viking and others. From Cruachan to Amon Amarth, Korpiklaani to Alestorm, Heidevolk and many more, the only thing they have in common is folk, diverging is styles. That is one of the things that caught my attention in Caladmor; the capability of the band to congregate a vast range of folk metal styles in one release. Some may say it makes them somewhat confuse, not knowing “were” to place them in terms of style; I prefer to emphasize the quality of the folk music they give us. Despite which label we might give them, listening to “Of stones And Stars” is like listening to a compilation of folk metal.
This release is a combination of melody and epic landscapes, a voyage to a realm of fantasy. As a less I only say they could use some more medieval instruments. Let’s not forget the contribution of Chrigel Glanzmann and Päde Kistler (both from Eluveitie) and Joel Gilardini (guitarist/composer). Definitely something to listen very closely…