“Off The Grid” is a very appropriate name for Cellador’s second full-length record, as it sums up the band’s approach to the last decade since their debut. Sure, they put out an EP in 2011, but in all of the discussion this band has merited over the years, it seems completely unknown. For this reason, “Off The Grid” has a lot of hype behind it, and for the most part, it delivers. The biggest change is that former vocalist Michael Gremio is gone, and one of the band’s guitarists (Chris Petersen) also handles vocals. Frankly, he’s not as good as Gremio was (who was an exceptional talent), but his voice is more than strong enough to get by. Cellador is primarily about the wicked speed and shredding, and there’s plenty of that on “Off The Grid” for long-time fans to be satisfied.
In general, it would be fair to say that “Off The Grid” hits on everything that made Cellador great in the first place. This record is energetic beyond belief, and the band sounds genuinely excited, rather than that they’re just going through the motions. The choruses are well-written, as they’re filled with hooks and melodies that are very natural. The guitar acrobatics are present on every track, but “Break Heresy” and especially “Swallow Your Pride” (which is deserving of comparisons to the mighty Dragonforce) are perhaps the best displays of pure wizardry. Unsurprisingly, double bass is in full force to complement the band’s lightning-quick approach, and the end result is a record that is likely to incite more than a few speeding tickets.
The one time it feels like Cellador misses the mark is on “Good Enough”, which feels far too commercial. Taking a poppier approach doesn’t have to fail, but this song lacks any interesting elements. Nevertheless, one small blemish on an otherwise solid record isn’t a problem given that Cellador fans have waited over a decade for another album. On the whole, “Off The Grid” is almost every bit as good as “Enter Deception” was, and though it doesn’t reinvent the wheel, it remains true to the band’s legacy.
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"Swallow Your Pride"
4.1/5 or 82%.
Written by Scott