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Dragonland
Starfall
November 2004
Released: 2004, Century Media
Rating: 3.0/5
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall

This is another new Swedish band from Century Media called Dragonland. Prior this they have released two albums, the debut from 01 “THE BATTLE OF THE IVORY PLAINS” and “HOLY WAR” from 02. Several of the members are known to the public from apperances in their other bands like Niklas (Prophanity), Christer (Nightshade), Jesse (Nostradameus) and Elias (who helped out King Diamond on he’s tour 01 and recorded keyboards for Falconer’s second album).



They have worked a whole year on these songs and the guitar player Olof says “We can honestly say that this is the best album we could have done a this point”. The Cd was produced by Tom S. Englund from Evergrey and Arnold Lindberg (Sound technician for the band Europe on their ongoing tour). They have also used Evergrey’s own studio Division One Studio in Gothenburg Sweden. Tom and Henrik (Evergrey) and Arnold guest on the album with both vocals and guitar. Tom and Arnold have created an almost perfect sound that sounds really fresh and energetic.



I would describe Dragonland’s music as very melodic power metal and they have similarities to what HammerFall would sound like if they were a bit more melodic. It’s keyboards and lead vocals in the center along with guitars and heavy drums.



Dragonland consists of 6 members and the vocalist Jonas has a very fitting voice for singing this kind of music. Elias on synthesizer is really good at what he does and it sound like he’s classically trained with his scale play.



I don’t know who’s written the 11 tracks on “STARFALL” but song number 9, 10 and 11 are a unit and are called “THE BOOK OF SHADOWS PART 1, 2 and 3”. It’s an 11 minute epic trilogy that comes with an inspiring and adventurous story. It sounds like the band has worked hard with the songs and with the song structure ‘cause it all sounds really planned out and almost all of the tracks have really strong melodies. The music is very competent and technical, this is not put together on a coffee break.



Dragonland rises over the mediocre power metal bands that are out there today and all of you who are into power metal should take a closer look at this, also you who are curious on how a more melodic HammerFall would sound. These guys really deserves success and they have a future ahead of them. I really hope that their new label back them up because they have the potential to go really far.
Track Listing

As madness took me
Starfall
Calling my name
In perfect harmony
The dream seeker
The shores of our land
The returning
To the end of the world
The book of shadows pt 1 – a story yet untold
The book of shadows pt 2 – the curse of Qa’a
The book of shadows pt 3 – the Glendora outbreak

Lineup

Jonas Heidgert – lead vocals
Elias Holmlid – Synthesizers
Niklas Magnusson – guitar
Olof Marci – guitar
Christer Pedersen – bass
Jesse Lindskog – drums

Interviews

Next review: » Dragonland - Starfall
Dragonland
Starfall
January 2005
Released: 2004, Century Media
Rating: 2.5/5
Reviewer: Aryn

Dragonland have been slowly gaining recognition, much of it stemming from their days on the Power Metal charts at the now defunct mp3.com and their campy but very fun cover of "The Neverending Story". This is the third release from the Swedes, and after their amazing concept-based second album HOLY WAR I had high hopes for STARFALL.



Unfortunately, it was not met. In full, anyways. They have decided to take a less symphonic, less fantasy based direction and move their keyboards into an area of synthesized bloops and lyrical themes of a deeply personal nature. At many times, STARFALL can be described as emo-power metal with it's lyrical content and adoption of the start/stop breakdowns of modern groups such as Atreyu and Bleeding Through. The power metal still remains, don't get me wrong, it's just been tempered with enough of the MTV2 Headbangers Ball style of emo-core that it's a bit hard to swallow some times. The musicianship is still dead on, but gone are the great leads, the keyboard/guitar interplay, and the overall feeling of might. Instead opting to take some influence from Clayman-era In Flames and Dark Tranquility in it's breakdowns and bottom end riffery.



The songwriting is disappointing as well, the vocals are one dimensional but strong and the overtly "electronic" keyboards can get a bit overdone sometimes. Only one song really manages to stick in your head, and they wisely put that on the front of the album "As Madness Took Me". Eventually one song just starts to blend into the next and you forget to even pay attention anymore, as the songs all begin to sound the same. If they had continued in the symphonic power metal direction they were starting to show some very real promise in with HOLY WAR then they could have pounded out an album for the ages. Instead, for whatever reasons, decided to adopt a more modern emo-influenced sound with STARFALL and the results are uninteresting. At least I still have my worn copy of HOLY WAR to listen to.
Track Listing

1. As Madness Took Me
2. Starfall
3. Calling My Name
4. In Perfect Harmony
5. The Dream Seeker
6. The Shores Of Our Land
7. The Returning
8. To The End Of The World
9. The Book Of Shadows Part I - A Story Yet Untold
10. The Book Of Shadows Part II - The Curse Of Qa'a
11. The Book Of Shadows Part III - The Glendora Outbreak

Lineup

Jonas Heidgert - Vocals
Nicklas Magnusson - Guitar (Prophanity)
Olof "Olle" Mörck - Lead Guitar
Christer Pedersen - Bass (Nightshade (Swe))
Elias Holmlid - Synthesizers
Jesse Lindskog - Drums

Contact

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Interviews





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