Released: 2003, Self-released
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
Citadel, a relatively young 4-piece Power Metal act hailing from Finland, approached me a while ago with this 4-song demo-CD, asking me politely to review it for Metal-Rules.com, so here I am then… trying to recollect and put down my honest thoughts of it.
The demo starts off with a spoken intro called “Selected Crimes against Humanity” that has probably been borrowed from some movie? Soon though, “Into the Vortex” is kicked off, being a somewhat standard sounding Power Metal song as a whole with a relatively fast tempo, a rather lame keyboard solo, but luckily a catchy enough chorus part. “The Fugitive”, the 2nd song on VORTEX, has some really cool guitar riffs that both oddly and funnily are kind of way too ´thrashy´ for a Power Metal band. I remember a German ex-Thrash Metal / now more or less Power/Speed Metal act Angel Dust using the same type of riffs on their debut album INTO THE DARK PAST. I guess it´s purely coincidental that the very types of riffs have also ended up being on this particular Citadel song. It´s definitely slightly better as a whole than the 1st tune, but unfortunately doesn´t offer too many surprising or memorable moments at all that should stick in your mind indelibly.
“A 1000 Lifetimes” displays some typical Power Metal clichés again, leaving generally nothing particularly ´out of ordinary´ for you to remember. I have heard similar stuff churned out zillions of times before, so I won´t hold my candle for the song for too long. This particular song, however, contains some relatively good melody sections that I can at least consider partly well done.
The last song, “Homewardbound”, unfortunately doesn´t raise the relatively amateur´ish profile of this 4-song effort much higher, even if the result certainly isn´t as hopeless or ´born dead´ as I may lead you to believe. Honestly, the guys prove to have a lot of talent and ideas in the band, but the way they have channeled all their efforts for their songs, trying to make them stand out for a listener has failed I´m afraid. They surely know to make waterproof Power Metal, but this time it unfortunately wasn´t enough. The band should try to re-ponder their song arrangements in a bit of a different way from now on in order to make them stand out a bit better and easier next time when they are seriously going to record something in order to promote the band. Also, I don´t hesitate to spit it out, but the weakest link in Citadel in my opinion is without a doubt Petteri´s poor vocal parts. He´s still sounds like he´s very inexperienced and raw with his vocals. You can hear from everything that he really cannot get his vocal parts thru with a convincing enough way. He should take some vocal lessons in order to improve his pronouncing quite drastically as a matter of speaking - or otherwise the band is destined to go through some hard times during their ´victory path´ if they may ever dream about their first ever full-length album under the wings of any record label. Some cold hard facts for them to think about, but I bet a few others may agree with the aforementioned facts as well.