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Dragonland - The Battle Of The Ivory Plains (7/10) - Sweden - 2001

Genre: Power Metal
Label: Black Lotus Records
Playing time: 49:38
Band homepage: Dragonland

Tracklist:

  1. Dragondawn
  2. Storming Across Heaven
  3. A Last Farewell
  4. Ride For Glory
  5. The Orcish March
  6. The Battle Of The Ivory Plains
  7. Braveheart
  8. Rondo a la Turca
  9. A Secret Unveiled
  10. World's End
  11. Dragondusk
Dragonland - The Battle Of The Ivory Plains
Dragons seem to be very in at the moment, DRAGONLORD, DRAGONHEART, DRAGONHAMMER, DRAGONWORLD and now also DRAGONLAND, them from Sweden, on a Greek label.

Very surprisingly the Gentlemen Heidgert, Magnusson, Pedersen, Mörck und Holmlid play Power Metal of the European school, yes, the really "original style". So do DRAGONLAND have anything to set them apart from the dozens of similar sounding bands that have flooded this genre ever since HAMMERFALL? Hereto a clear "yes and no". Basically you get all the ingredients that we also get from their colleagues, often high tempo, big emphasis on melodies, very catchy song-structures, keyboards, fantasy-lyrics, but still DRAGONLAND sound somehow different, so no STRATOGAMMAWEEN-alarm.

There are no really original elements, but still they elude the uniformism that many bands are caught in, which is something on the plus-side for DRAGONLAND. So basically you could put them somewhere in the centre between EDGUY, NOCTURNAL RITES, a little RHAPSODY and something that they somehow do differently than their colleagues.

After the very good bombastic and somehow soundtrack-like intro "Dragondawn" "Storming Across Heaven" is a full-on high-speed Power Metal-assault of the epic kind, with unobtrusive keyboards, a really good start! And the following "A Last Farewell" is a nice, intense ballad with a female guest-vocalist, which (the ballad, not the singer!) is coming over very well, too, just a little unusual to put a ballad so high up in the play-list, but as long as it is this good, I do not have any problems with that, heh.

Following this DRAGONLAND cannot fully keep the level, but still, speedy hammers like "Ride For Glory" and "The Battle Of The Ivory March" or mid-tempo-stuff of the "Braveheart"-category are above average for sure. The only slight drop-out is the Mozart-cover-version of "Rondo a la Turca", because here the keyboard is the melody-leading instrument. As talented as Master Holmlid is, in such a piece this role belongs to the guitar, as STORMWITCH have proved all those many years back.

But this is a matter of taste, altogether we get a good debut, which somehow differs at least a bit from the rest of the pack, the good Los Angered-production and the good cover and booklet (my SUPREME MAJESTY's Chrille Andersson) add to the positive impression. So let's conclude with: Not ground-breaking, but a good bit above the average and thus a good debut.

Alexander Melzer



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