The mastermind behind of this project is the Norwegian guitarist Frode Hovd (MEMORIZED DREAMS) who achieved to gather an impressive list of guests that makes ALDARIA's debut a must have for every melodic metal fan out there.
Just hold your breath and read the guests that contribute to "Land Of Light" : Fabio Lione (Rhapsody Of Fire, voc), Todd Michael Hall (Riot V, voc), Rick Altzi (Masterplan, voc), Mathias Blad (Falconer, voc), Jonas Heidgert (Dragonland, voc), Jimmy Hedlund (Falconer, guit.), Roland Grapow (Masterplan, guit.), Mike LePond, (Symphony X, bass), Uli Kusch (ex Helloween, dr.), Peter Danielsen (Darkest Sins, synths) and Mistheria (Vivaldi Metal Project, keys). Pretty impressive if you ask me!
After the intense intro of "Excitare Ad Lucem", it comes the first highlight of the album; "Another Life" is great melodic metal song that includes the necessary epic feeling and a classic Helloween 'touch' in it that makes it the perfect appetizer of what's to follow. "Guardians Of The Light" is faster, melodious and with a catchier chorus line and it's among my personal favorites from this debut. The guitar solo is 'out of this world' and you can hear some Edguy elements here and there that make it extremely interesting. I loved the ballad of "Sands Of Time" a lot!! A beautiful ballad that features some sensational vocal duties, melodic guitar lines and great arrangements. Songs like "Test Of Time" and especially "Where Reality Ends" show the heavier side of Aldaria and with "From The Ashes" the band delivers a more straight forward heavy rocker tune that I liked a lot!
Aldaria is a new band/project that with its debut "Land Of Light" offers a well-crafted opera metal album that will be appreciated by each and every fan of this style. A record that has it all; from fast-paced metal hymns to beautiful ballads and, most of all, with solid songs Aldaria achieves to deliver a strong effort.
Rating : 8/10