Dragonland - The Battle Of The Ivory Plains
Black Lotus Records
Heroic Fantasy Speed Metal
11 songs (49'44)
Release year: 2001
Dragonland, Black Lotus
Reviewed by Chris
Surprise of the month

I had read good reviews concerning that almost unknown band and it was with great pleasure that I pickup that CD in Wacken's Metal Market. This band from Sweden is playing an Epic Power / Speed Metal with influences from bands like Rhapsody, Stratovarius or Labyrinth (Return To Heaven Denied) amongst others. Their orchestrations are very nice and their metal is emotion packed !

An impressive album, where guitars and keyboard joins forces to deliver a fast, fiercely fast Speed Metal release. Killing riffs and mind blowing solos are present for the sole pleasure of my ears and feelings. A million time more original and more interesting than the last Rhapsody album, Dragonland have found a powerful balance between Speed Metal and orchestral / hollywoodian elements. Diving into the realm of Dragonland, the songs will guide you through the tales the bands has to tell. The album starts on an Epic classical intro, whose quality is far from enough to having it in any Hollywood movie. Then it's the time for the True Metal hymn of the album : Storming Across Heaven to open up the album in the most effective of ways. Then follows an incredibly full of emotion ballad, a duo where male and female lyrics merge into the perfect balance, therefor easily bringing a tear in my eye almost every time I listen to it. A Last Farewell is an incredible song, probably my favorite on the album (it's never the case for ballads usually). The album rumbles on with faster (The Battle Of The Ivory Plains, GraveHeart or World's End) and mid-tempo songs (The Orcish March, A Secret Unveiled), delivering the most epic album I've heard since ages. Only the production, quite good but still far from what it could be would need a Sasha Paeth to take full advantage of this bands excellent Melodic Metal abilities.

An more than pleasant surprise, one I'm not going to forget any day soon. A killer release and excellent debut album from this new promising band. I already look forward to listen to their next album with great and unmasked impatience. Congratulations ! A must for all fans of Speed Metal.

Killing Songs :
A Last Farewell, Ride For Glory, The Battle Of The Ivory Plains, GraveHeart & World's End.
Chris quoted 88 / 100
Other albums by Dragonland that we have reviewed:
Dragonland - Under The Grey Banner reviewed by Chris and quoted 96 / 100
Dragonland - Astronomy reviewed by Andrew and quoted 99 / 100
Dragonland - Starfall reviewed by Marty and quoted 79 / 100
Dragonland - Holy War reviewed by Chris and quoted 92 / 100
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