Caladmor is an epic folk metal band from Zürich, Switzerland that was formed back in 2001 under the name Pale. As Pale they released a full-length album in 2005 and an EP in 2007. In 2009 they changed their name to Caladmor and next year they released the album “Midwinter” via Twilight Vertrieb. On August 2013 they decided to release their new album “Of Stones and Stars” this time on their own, without any label behind.
The band has a quite distinctive sound, thanks to their natural unpolished production and their female singer’s characteristic voice. Their music is a mixture of classic heavy metal, folk metal and epic metal, combined with some extreme metal elements. “Of Stones and Stars” has 11 songs, lasting for over 51 minutes. Their various influences are not equally dominant in each of their songs, so some of them have a more epic approach, others sound more folkish, while few parts are closer to epic folk black death metal. Their songs are based mostly on their epic rhythmic guitars, since synths are mostly accompanying, while their folk instruments are used very selectively by important guest members, like Chrigel Glanzmann from Eluveitie. In my opinion their vocals is their strongest card, since most of their melodies are actually based on Barbara’s varicolored voice and on the wonderful contrast she makes with Martin’s clean and growling vocals. Her singing styles range from epic metal and folk to operatic or Gothic, while their songs are often supported by many wonderful choral parts. The band has composed some very catchy and refrains and melodies that can constantly stick in your mind, like my favorite song “Of Stones and Stars“! What is strange with Caladmor is that both their best elements (vocals and sound) are the ones that also need the more work! I believe that a better production would benefit their songs very much and when it comes to vocals, no matter how diverse, melodic and beautiful they are, I can’t ignore that there are some parts where they don’t sound too correct… Their epic lyrics are in English, except for 3 songs, “Alvíssmál” (out of the 13th century poetic “Edda“, language: Old Norse) for which the band has also released an official video-clip, “Laudine’s Lament” (out of 12th century novel “Iwein” by Hartmann von Aue) and “Mimirs Born” (poem by A. Kayser – Langerhannß, 19th century).
Caladmor has released a great epic folk metal album, recommended to fans of the genre, especially if you prefer a more natural sound, with an almost “live” feeling. “Of Stones and Stars” is self-released by the band in a standard jewel-case edition with 12-page booklet that includes all their lyrics. The beautiful cover artwork is by Seelenzorn – Design. You can visit their official pages for sound samples and in order to find details if you are interested in buying their album.