Review Summary: The Chronicles of Dragonland, the Power Metal Band, Part I: Runescape Metal
Okay, just think of it. A symphonic power metal band called Dragonland (unintentional rhyme) who play music about a self-produced story called The Dragonland Chronicles
. Now just take that in for a minute and tell me that this doesn’t sound stupid at all to you. Come on, it just says “Wallace and Gromit’s highly-prized cheese collection” right in front of you doesn’t it? And if it doesn’t well then something is wrong with you. With that being said, I doubt very many of you have actually heard of this band before. If anything it’s exactly what you’d expect from symphonic power metal, and I won’t hate you for liking in the first place. Sometimes you need a little bit of cheese in your music and if you REALLY want some cheese on your iPod, then by all means go ahead. Obviously not saying that all power metal is cheesy, but if you’ve listened to or at least heard of Dragonforce’s lyrical themes, well then you know what is to come. And you know what, it’s pretty darn good.
To be fair, Dragonland’s debut The Battle of the Ivory Plains
is a rather quite solid one. The instrumentation is spot on throughout the whole album and they make the album just simply worth it. A lot of the guitar work is extremely complex, maybe even more complex than Dragonforce, and the solos are so amazingly well performed that you will literally listen to them over and over again. Songs like Ride to Glory
and World’s End
are perfect examples of well thought out and well executed guitar work overall, fast-paced and never tiring, and the solo in Ride to Glory
is obviously the best in the album. The drumming, while could be better in a few spots, are also well performed, keeping the beat and the intensity throughout most of the album. Most of the lyrical themes certainly keep their fantasy themes throughout the whole album. (Seriously though, if there’s a story book of this please let me know) The one song that does step out of that zone of its role-playing themes is Rondo Ala Turca
which is just simply a power metal version of Beethoven’s song The Turkish March
and an entertaining one at that. The orchestrations and synths are also well placed, never feeling forced as if the orchestrations are more important.
If there is anything to hate in this record, it’s the vocals. Not saying that vocalist Jonas Heidgert isn’t the worst singer out there, but it really sounds like this is his first time actually singing these pieces. Jonas seems very out of place in many areas, going falsetto constantly as if he’s a soprano, and straining his voice in a few places as well. To be honest, it seems as if he just hasn’t had any practice or that much experience at all for a power metal artist. At least Roy Khan from Kamelot actually studied opera for three years before he started singing in his bands. This on the other had just sounds as if he’s just been singing for a few months and assumed that he was good enough for the part.
All that said, Battle of the Ivory Plains
is a solid effort for debut. Out of all honesty the only reason why you would listen to this in particular is for the instrumentation. The music itself is just so fantastic and just a real eargasm to the mind that it’s hard not to enjoy the album throughout, especially if you’re one of those people who would just die for this kind of stuff. Yeah it’s cheesy, but you know what, it’s a fun album for what it is. If you are a die-hard lover of power metal, then by all means go ahead and give this a listen. You know you want to.