In Sweden’s DRAGONLAND the Finns of SONATA ARCTICA finally get a serious competitor for the nordic throne of Power respectively Melodic Metal. With “Starfall”, their new third album, the band starts a big attack on an upper position in the Scandinavian Metal league anyway.
The six musicians, Jonas Heidgert (vocals), Elias Holmlid (synths), Nicklas Magnusson (guitar), Olof Mörck (guitar), Christer Pedersen (bass) and Jesse Lindskog (drums) had the aim of writing a perfect Melodic Metal album and they almost succeeded in doing so. “Starfall” abounds in melodies, power and suspense. The songs are varied and become real ear wigs after several listens, which especially goes for the hits “The Shores Of Our Land”, “In Perfect Harmony” and the somewhat sharper “Calling My Name”. Jonas Heidgert kann convince me through his singing and the guitar department is also appealing with the sharper moments on “Starfall”. It’s only sad that the eternal keyboard/guitar duels have also crept in with DRAGONLAND. It’s not that I don’t like something like this, but by now hardly any band can do without this gem and somehow it’s getting boring.
But you can’t complain about the solos themselves thus far. What’s much more disturbing to me is that the band has designed some songs very Pop-like, which can quite be traced back to the synthies again. Especially the title track comes along somewhat too sweet for my taste and they could have spared themselves “To The End Of The World” as well. Apart from that there’s not much to criticize, towards the end the last three concept songs “The Book Of Shadows Part I-III” even present the whole spectrum of the genre of Melodic Metal once again. The sound on “Starfall” has also turned out thoroughly and thus you can confidently rate the album with 8.5 points.
Fans of SONATA ARCTICA, NOCTURNAL RITES or partly also of RHAPSODY will certainly be pleased by “Starfall” and DRAGONLAND. Heaviness-wise the Swedes can’t fully compete with their competitors yet, but as far as the melodies are concerned, they are on the right way already. Furthermore the band is often better at making their point on the relatively short but varied songs than some of the colleagues on their lengthy epics. Not really perfect yet, but very good! Check out!!!
Check out tips: “The Shores Of Our Land“, “Calling My Name“....(Online January 6, 2005)