Released: 2004, Century Media
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.