Released: 2013, KIller Metal Records
In 2012, Dragonsclaw debut album, PROPHECY was my #2 album of the year, just behind Manowar. For a new band, I could not find a finer example of true, pure Metal that year. I’m delighted to say that their 2013 follow up album JUDGEMENT DAY maintains the same level of quality and entertainment.
Thankfully, not much has changed, the line-up has stayed stable, their mascot is back, the logo is the same, everything is intact for another flawless album. JUDGEMENT DAY has another nine tracks of Power Metal perfection. The band has written another epic in the form of ‘Fly-Defenders Of The Skies Part II’, which is great because lyrically and sonically, ‘Defenders’ from the debut was one of my favourite songs. The band has recorded another catchy tune which great lyrics called ‘Bullet’, an album highlight for sure. The band show their true roots with a song called, ‘Battlecry’ which is a tribute to ex-Riot main-man, Mark Reale who passed away in early 2012. True riot fans will recognize how the band has weaved Riot song titles and parts of lyrics from Riot songs into ‘Battlecry’. It’s a clever and moving song, not too mention, raging with power. Reale would be proud. Another notable point is a very cool cover of Warlord’s ‘Lucifer’s Hammer’. That has always been one of my favourite Warlord songs and there is an added connection because vocalist Giles was picked to sing for Warlord for some European live dates last year, so it is a fitting tribute to them as well.
The production is loud and clear and the guitar tone is powerful with bite. The tone and tempo of the heavy is pretty fast, some really speedy spots mixed in with some great anthemic parts and a ton of melody as well. It’s a great blend, the best of all worlds with just enough keyboards for some good atmosphere as well. I wrote a pretty enthusiastic review of the debut last year and while the tone of this review may be a bit less…shall we say, ‘hyper’… I still have the same energy and enthusiasm for Dragonsclaw. JUDGEMENT DAY is a fantastic second effort. Some bands suffer from the sophomore slump but not Dragonsclaw, this album is every bit as good and exciting as the debut. JUDGEMENT DAY is guaranteed another very high placement in my personal top albums of 2013 list at the end of the year
1. Watching My Every Move
2. Onset of War
3. Judgement Day
6. Fly: Defenders of the Sky Part II
7. Lucifer's Hammer
8. Battle Cry
Giles Lavery Vocals
Ben Thomas Guitars
Ray Martens Keyboards
Aaron Thomas Bass
Alcides Stowe Drums