Released: 2014, StormSpell Records
I think that Cederik Forsberg, aka ‘Ced’, is becoming the Devin Townsend of Sweden. He is prolific, creative hardworking and has churned out seven albums in five years by five different bands, all his creations, all in different styles. He is a one-man Metal machine, a relentless juggernaut of metal purity. Breitenhold is his latest project and it is the closest he has got to a straight up, traditional Metal band. Continuing his long running relationship with StormSpell Records the label has released the bands debut album SECRET WORLDS.
Like most of his other projects, Breitenhold is more of a studio project with Ced doing everything but that doesn’t mean that the album is not world class. Everything this kid touches turns to gold in my opinion. The album cover is slightly reminiscent of some classic Prog Metal album covers with a metaphysical depiction of a waterfall on a comet in outerspace. With a doorway to another dimension (or a secret world), it looks cool.
Breitenhold is so classic in it’s delivery of Metal, it is hard to describe. It’s just Metal. No symphonies, no opera singers, no thrash, no prog, no fiddle playing folk dudes, no growling, nothing remotely trendy, modern or cool, just Metal at it’s finest. Double-kick drums, soaring high vocals like Halford, Tate or Dickinson, blazing guitars… if I had to pick one band that maybe comes close to describing the sound it might be old Scanner. Hell, throw in some Gamma Ray, old Helloween etc into the mix and you have an album that perpetuates that sound.
The writing and arrangements are pretty conventional, good choruses that stick in your memory, good sing-along songs with lots of driving rhythms and shredding solos. Highlights for me are ‘To The Battle Far Beyond’ and ‘Guardians Of The Black Castle’ both speedy numbers with his rough and ready vocals racing through the stratosphere. SECRET WORLDS ends with a bit of a bonus track an alternate version of song called ‘Thunderstorm Arise’ with Marta of Crystal Viper on vocals.
The motto of the StormSpell Records label is ‘Old Farts Stuck In The 80’s and Proud Of It’ and I think that perfectly epitomizes the whole tone and style of Breitenhold. However, just because that sound was common and popular back then does not mean that young guys like Ced live in the past. The sound of classic Metal is alive and well, young, fresh and thriving, thanks to albums like SECRET WORLDS.