In January, the Finnish power-metal band Citadel recorded and released their self-financed EP Vortex...A month later they signed with Low Frequency Records...In April they will enter the studio again to record their debut album. One could say that a lot has happened in a short time. But that hasn’t always been the case.

Founded in December 1997, the first incarnation of the band - Silmaeth - bore little resemblance to what Citadel is today. In the beginning their music was a somewhat meandering combination of various styles - all the way from basic hard-rock to Moonspell’ish gothic metal. The first set of lineup changes however took place quite soon and Petteri Urmas - lead guitarist at the time - picked up the full-time vocal duties. At the same time the name of the band was changed as well: Silmaeth transformed into S.O.U.R.

In fall ‘98 keyboardist Joona Kukkola was added to the lineup. As a result (or purely as a coincidence??) the elements of power metal started to increasingly push the other musical interests aside. Songs of Stratovarius were indeed a major influence and a source of inspiration back in those days.

A steady pace of rehearsing and progress was maintained through the years in spite of several obstacles (military, studies, etc.) often slowing things down considerably. From early on, however, the band had realized the importance of patience and hard work, and that no results would be achieved overnight. Finally, in June 2001 the time was ripe to record the first “real” demo. Although the sound was rough and the technical performance far from perfect, Gates of Time proved that the band had a great deal of potential and a personal, distinctive style.

In the following winter the final piece of the puzzle turned up as Mika Virtanen joined the band. “I hadn’t been a dedicated lead guitarist in a long time.” confesses Petteri. “With Mika on board we were a whole new that could really make a difference.”

Later that year, as the Vortex-sessions were approaching, dissatisfaction about the band’s name surfaced. “S.O.U.R. was perceived as an expired and naïve name. One better suited for the band’s current style was definitely needed” explains drummer Kalle Tuominen. “We had quite a few proposals for the new name, but Citadel immediately stood out as the only one we all liked” clarifies Mika. Soon after this the lineup suffered the loss of two original members, but musically - as Vortex proves - this transition had no negative impact whatsoever.

“The coming album will surprise a lot of people” predicts Joona. “The southwest corner of Finland is still a relatively white area on the map of metal. We are determined to change that” he continues. “Even though power metal is a crowded genre nowadays, a fresh point of view can always be found” concludes Petteri. “Consider yourselves warned!”

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