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Valley of the Damned
November 2001
Released: 2000, Independent
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: CrashTest

OK, so this one has been out for awhile, but it’s a demo that shows some promise and I wanted to give the band some exposure. I first stumbled across DragonHeart while checking out bands at last year. Under the search term “power metal” their name and songs came up at the top of the list as having been downloaded the most. After one download I opened up the old wallet and placed my order.

DragonHeart are a five piece band hailing from London. With a name like DragonHeart I shouldn’t have to tell anyone that this is melodic power metal with fantasy-inspired themes. The musicianship is pretty strong from everyone involved, but the strength of the band is the twin guitarists Herman Li and Sam Totman, who exchange soloing duties throughout the CD. Both have nimble fingers and a great deal of talent. The vocal duties are handled by ZP, who really doesn’t offer anything unique, but whose voice fits the style and feel quite nicely. He does struggle a couple times to reach the high notes, but that’s nothing that a little vocal training and time can’t fix. The double bass kicks are there, naturally, but they don’t overwhelm. The disc has five tracks, of which my personal favorites are Black Winter Night and Valley of the Damned.

It’s only a matter of time before these guys get a deal. Frankly, it’s surprises me that after more than a year they still go unsigned, especially given the exposure they’ve had opening for bands like Halford and Stratovarius. It may have something to do with the recent saturation of power metal bands, so maybe the best bet is for the boys to expand their style some.

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» Valley of the Damned
by CrashTest

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