Dragonland
Holy War


3.5
great

Review

by Christopher Geriak USER (42 Reviews)
April 6th, 2014 | 14 replies


Release Date: 2002 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The Chronicles of Dragonland, the Power Metal band, Part II: It's Like Jam on Toast

It really is interesting to find people writing stories in music, especially in metal music. Power metal for some reason seems to have made itself to be a stereotype. Complex guitar solos, fast drum beats and double bass, opera style vocals, very cheesy lyrics…yeah. Let’s face it, that’s about 90% of all power metal bands and Dragonland is pretty much an epitome of that. Even so, Dragonland’s debut album The Battle of the Ivory Plains was a rather solid one. It’s still what you’d expect from a power metal album, but for what it was, it was a fun experience all the same. Now there’s their second album and the continuation of their story Holy War. To be fair, it’s not really the so-called “sophomore slump” that many music critics use to portray that the second album isn’t as good as the first. If anything Holy War is almost exactly the same as the first album. Nothing has really changed compared to their debut aside from a few improvements but in all seriousness, it’s still pretty damn good.

Much like the first album, much of the instrumentation is spot on. Fast-paced guitar strumming, complex solos, excellent drumming, it’s what Dragonland is good at. You can’t really deny that it’s a fun experience despite how predictable it is. There are few changes from The Battle of the Ivory Plains, but those that are present improve the finer aspects of Dragonland's sound. First off, the vocals are better than they were last time. Jonas Heidgert sounds as if he’s getting more comfortable with the overall music as he doesn’t strain much, and his falsetto is less common. The orchestra is more prominent than before, with the intro and outro tracks featuring the orchestra exclusively, Hundred Years Have Passed and One With All that are simply nothing but orchestration. Many of the songs like Majesty of the Mithril Mountains and the title track contain intro backed up with organ synths that are mixed in rather quite well. Additionally, Dragonland shows a little variety and slows down with Forever Walking Alone. It's a nice change of pace from their debut, which consisted of speed from beginning to end. The two instrumentals also show signs of slowing down but Forever Walking Alone is probably the first time that Dragonland takes the initiative and decides that slow instrumentals aren’t really enough.

As for the things that haven’t changed, I’ve stated them before. The changes on Holy War are minor the most part, and don't have an enormous impact on Dragonland's sound. It’s a predictable fair and it’s everything you’d expect from a band called “Dragonland.” The lyrics are still cheesy as to the style of fantasy fiction writing and the story that the band has created, the guitars and the drums are fast-paced as usual, and the vocal style is still the same, even if it has improved. However, Holy War isn’t a bad album. It’s just that it’s not going to win Dragonland any more fans than it already has. Pre-established Dragonland fans will be the prime customer for Holy War, but if you're seeking to hear the band for the first time, it won't kill you...hopefully.



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user ratings (27)
Chart.
3.3
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Toondude10
April 6th 2014


4185 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Tried to go with the three-paragraph style review this time.

Criticism is appreciated as always.

Digging: Wovenwar - Wovenwar

TPM731
April 6th 2014


238 Comments


"The changes in this album are relatively few, but in a way they do somewhat improve Dragonland style in this alum overall."

Try writing something like "there are few changes from The Battle of the Ivory Plains, but those that are present improve the finer aspects of Dragonland's sound.

"The overall sound in the record is a little more reliant on the orchestration than it did before as there are a couple of instrumentations, Hundred Years Have Passed and One With All that are simply nothing but orchestration"

Try, "the orchestra is more prominent than before, with the intro and outro tracks featuring the orchestra exclusively". And you can remove "They only reason why those are there in the first place is to simply act as an intro and outro, but they still work."

"Another change is that Dragonland finally takes their time and slows down with Forever Walking Alone which was lacking in their first album."

Instead: "Additionally, Dragonland shows a little variety and slows down with Forever Walking Alone. It's a nice change of pace from their debut, which consisted of speed from beginning to end", and you can remove the subsequent sentence.

"Holy War’s changes are relatively minor for the most part and never really change the style of the album."

You could try: "The changes on Holy War are minor more the most part, and don't have an enormous impact on the Dragonland sound"

"However, Holy War isn’t a bad album. It’s still rather solid for the most part. It’s just that it’s not going to win Dragonland any more fans than it already has."

Remove the second sentence.

"Unlike the last album, the main reason to listen to this is if you’re a fan of the band. That is unless you’re curious. Don’t worry, it won’t kill you this time…hopefully. "

Try: "Pre-established Dragonland fans will be the prime customer for Holy War, but if you're seeking to hear the band for the first time, it won't kill you...hopefully"

You've got good ideas, but your writing style can be awkward to read sometimes.

Toondude10
April 6th 2014


4185 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks man. Jotted that down and hopefully that will work.

Toondude10
April 6th 2014


4185 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Also, I just realized that this is the third review in a row that I scored a 3.5 on...awkward.

pedro70512
April 6th 2014


3225 Comments


Better than scoring three 5's or something. Agree with TPM.

Will check this out since I have the last three. Band needs more press

Digging: Giant Squid - Minoans

Toondude10
April 6th 2014


4185 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

True that. I wouldn't really score a 5 on something unless I REALLY loved it.

Greyvy
April 6th 2014


4800 Comments


checkin this now. looks like something i might like

Toondude10
April 6th 2014


4185 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

if you don't mind a huge amount of cheese, then I think you might enjoy this.

Greyvy
April 6th 2014


4800 Comments


oh i love excessive amounts of cheese

Toondude10
April 6th 2014


4185 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Then this is your thing

pedro70512
April 6th 2014


3225 Comments


And if this doesn't wet your whistle then check out Under the Grey Banner. "The Black Mare" and the title track are epic.

Toondude10
April 6th 2014


4185 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I actually listened to about half a couple of days ago. To be honest, there are a couple of issues but it's still pretty good. I'm going to review that one next.

ScuroFantasma
April 6th 2014


2328 Comments


"Jonas Heidgert sounds as if he’s getting more comfortable with the overall music as he doesn’t strain a much, while he still does occasionally, and his falsetto is less common"

This sentence is a bit wierd, I would remove the "he still does occasionally" part and "he doesn’t strain a much" should be "he doesn't strain much".

.

Digging: Xothist - Simulacrum

Toondude10
April 6th 2014


4185 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I hate those fucking typos, thanks though.



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