|Genre||Symphonic Power Metal|
|Release Date||16 August 2019|
|Record Label||Nuclear Blast|
Gather round, children, to hear magical tales of fantastical whimsy! Now fronted by the famed Alessandro Conti, the mighty Twilight Force is back with their third opus, Dawn of the Dragonstar. After parting ways with their previous vocalist, Christian Eriksson (who recently just released his debut with his new brethren in NorthTale), the merry men have lost none of their vigour or valiance, yet again producing another glorious album that is as fresh as a new day!
As you can expect from Twilight Force, Dawn of the Dragonstar is full of unlimited, overblown, storybook energy. With the exception of maybe two moments, the album is consistently happy and heroic from the very first seconds of the galloping ‘Dawn of the Dragonstar’ into its final note. This hyper-melodic, smile-demanding work isn’t all sheen and shine, though; there’s an absolutely staggering degree of talent and proficiency to behold in every track.
The guitars, helmed by bandmates Aerendir and Lynd, produce intense riffs (when they aren’t busy with their fast chugging) and facemelting solos that would make even Herman Li a bit jealous. The drums don’t sit still literally ever, and the constantly-changing grooves add as much emotion to the music as the shining, Disney orchestrations. Along with the majestic, nearly-operatic vocals of Cont-er, should I say, Allyon, this force of the twilight is worth twice their weight in gold.
There’s also a ton of variety to enjoy, as many of the songs have certain musical themes attached to them; ‘Thundersword’ sounds like wild-west-meets-medieval-knights, ‘With the Light of a Thousand Suns’ brings the heat like the dry deserts of the Middle East (complete with a sick dumbek-driven instrumental section), and tracks like ‘Long Live the King’ and ‘Valley of the Vale’ bring a more familiar, choral, Western European vibe. But then we have the twelve-minute ‘Blade of Immortal Steel’, which is in a fucking realm of its own. Aside from the tastefully-integrated Chinese folk instruments, this is unmatched epic power metal, in all its major pentatonic glory. It’s dynamic, it’s larger-than-life, the long-ass solo section is simply ridiculous, and the chorus still gives me goosebumps. This track is easily my favourite on the entire album because it scratches every musical itch I have.
I did not expect to like this album as much as I do. While I did really like Heroes of Mighty Magic, Tales of Ancient Prophecies didn’t quite do it for me, so I was expecting something similarly hit-and-miss. But nope, this album fucking kills and it puts me in a happy mood almost instantly. Complete with four “bonus” tracks, Dawn of the Dragonstar is a truly sophisticated symphonic metal album. Twilight Force have outdone themselves this time!
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