Released: 2008, Pure Steel Records
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
Let´s try some simple maths and see what we get, ok? What would you get if you add Iron Maiden and Iced Earth together - and then add those two to Manowar? Three? Yes, that´s almost the correct answer. But that´s not a specific enough answer, you smartass! So try again, please.. ´A pseudo-intellectual icon-wanking wanna-be group...?!´ Now GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE, you pseudo-intellectual horseshit! Dragonsfire is the answer that I was looking for, dammit!
(*coughs*) Ok, let´s get a bit more serious again. This German foursome - loading their weapons in their hometown of Riedstadt, Hesse, plays some sort of a blend of both traditional and power metal (the main emphasis being on the word, ´traditional´ though), that partly at least bows to those three aforementioned classic metal bands´ direction. Some strong Maiden-ish, Iced Earth-ish and Manowar-ish influences can definitely be spotted in Dragonsfire´s sound, and I don´t even believe the band has been that active at hiding them anywhere at all, on the contrary, they have been more into building bridges with all those elements through and across their own metallic approach on their 2nd album, VISIONS OF FIRE.
Strong melodies, well delivered vocal parts, aggressive and attacking guitar parts, slices of nice hooks, pompous choruses and such things make VISIONS OF FIRE pretty much a worthy listen, yes. On the other hand, while the band´s frontman and vocalist Thassilo tends to sound more than just a bit like Matt Barlow in places, and when aural muscles in the Dragonsfire camp reach relatively strong similarities with our loved well-oiled and well-tanned men of the Manowar camp ("Oath of Allegiance") - not to mention all those Maiden-ish guitar melodies (“Rebellion - The Kingdom of Heaven” - start listening especially from the 0:37 minute mark) that seem to be everywhere on this record - all these circumstances together, tend to cut down some crucial points from the ground they have built. You see, sometimes aping is the best way of flattering, but sometimes it may turn against you. And I´m afraid that is exactly what has happened in Dragonsfire´s case - while still sounding good and obviously being a talented bunch of musicians all in all, I think they have just brought their ´aping´ a couple of steps too far - and simply being influenced a bit too much by the obvious three band names in question.
No doubt, I´m sure many sworn, die-hard heavy/power metal fans will most likely find quite an amount of pleasure when spinning VISIONS OF FIRE through. So did I. But I certainly would have appreciated the album even more if it had pumped up its muscle of originality and uniqueness a bit nearer to the surface of its skin than it actually did in the end. A somewhat solid traditional/power metal release, nevertheless.