CELLADOR - Heartland Heavies
by Martin Popoff

They're aged 17 to 23 years old, they're from middle America - Omaha, Nebraska to be precise - and they're playing exhilarating power metal at Dragonforce speeds and note densities. What's more, Metal Blade guru Brian Slagel has taken direct interest in their prospects (signing the band personally and executive producing the album), making Cellador the label's "first US-based power metal signing in years."

"It comes from J.R.R. Tolkien, the guy who wrote Lord Of The Rings," says mastermind and guitarist Chris Petersen, with respect to that wrinkly band name. "He had written an essay where he liked the combination of the words cellar and door. It's like a word he kind of created. He wrote a paper about how he thought that those words combined together was a really pleasing sounding duo. And I thought it sounded kind of epic and kind of eloquent, and a good name for a metal band, I guess. It was a spur of the moment decision. So basically I took the two words and combine them together, and create an originally spelling (turns out Tolkien never actually combined the two words; he just talked about it) that can't be confused with a whole bunch of stuff, so it can just be associated with our band and nothing else."

Past that and once inside the wrapper, once gets a hugely energetic power spread, topped with the Dickinson-thespian vocals of one Michael Gremio. But it all wells up from the guitars - Chris' twin conspirator is Bill Hudson, a transplant from Brazil (but also once a resident of both Tampa and L.A.).

I wondered given the band's young ages, how far back does the inspiration come? "Well, my influences are really kind of a combination of a lot of thrash metal, a lot of bands from Europe as well, even some death metal bands. Originally when I started playing guitar, I was more heavily into thrash bands - Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, those older bands, they really influenced the way I play guitar. Especially given that I prefer a lot of lead playing. There's no denying that I'm a guitar player that is heavily, heavily thrash-influenced. But later on, a couple of years into playing, I became a bigger fan of a lot of the European bands like Edguy, Helloween, Iron Maiden, Blind Guardian, Stratovarius, as well as some progress of stuff like Symphony X, Dream Theater, and little bit darker bands like Nevermore and Evergrey. I would pretty much say that the influences for the band are a combination of really fast, thrashy stuff with melodic, catchy, power metal."

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