Kerion is a symphonic power metal band that makes no secret of the inspiration they get from the masters of the genre, Italy's Rhapsody Of Fire. Holy Creatures Quest, the French quintet's first full-length album is a fitting addition to that ranks of epic and majestic metal.
The sound of this band is very similar to their fellow Frenchmen, Fairyland, particularly that band's Of Wars in Osyrhia album which featured the great Elisa C Martin on vocals. A lot of this similarity comes from the epic choirs directed by none other than Fairyland main-man Phillippe Giordana.
As a female fronted symphonic band many people will undoubtedly be expecting a Nightwish or Within Temptation clone, however this couldn't be further from the truth in either musical direction or in the vocals of Flora Spinelli.
In many places the vocals are again highly reminiscent of Fairyland's debut album and at times I was wondering if this was a new project of Elisa Martin's. However, there are some notable differences. In places Flora's vocals sound rather flat with very little emotion or even strength in the delivery. However, in the softer songs especially, the delivery is spot on. Dare I say that Flora Spinelli is better at singing ballads than Elisa Martin? Yes, I think its true.
Unlike Rhapsody Of Fire or even Fairyland there is, to my ears, very little intricate guitar work in this album. Don't expect the Turilli-style arpeggio magic with Kerion as it just doesn't materialize. However, this is not to say the guitars are a total loss. They keep a nice, chugging rhythm throughout most songs on the album and there are some nice solos and classical guitar work on there. The guitars fit the style of the band nicely but I think in future it would be better to make full use of a twin guitar attack.
The main driving force of Kerion's music is, as you would guess, the keyboards. Again, you may have heard all of this sort of stuff before in Rhapsody Of Fire or Fairyland albums but its still good quality, epic and majestic sounding keyboards!
Kerion also certainly believe in value for money as there are fourteen tracks on this album (2008 re-release) with most clocking in at well over five minutes in length, including Final Strike II at over ten minutes! Certainly I think a few of the songs could be said to be over-long, but generally the album keeps you interested throughout.
This debut is definitely not the best power metal album ever. It falls well short of any of Rhapsody of Fire's albums you care to mention, but it is a lot better than Fairyland's sophomore effort, Fall Of An Empire. If you're a fan of either band I would recommend this album and advise you to keep an eye on Kerion as one to watch for the future. I've heard better, but I will still be giving this album another few spins.