Release DetailsLABEL Century Media
RELEASED ON 10/25/2004
posted on 4/2005 By:
All but completely shedding the ‘epic’ persona that made them such a sought after young power metal act, Dragonland’s third full-length release shows a more mature and focused side of the band. Whereas a fair majority of the arrangements from Battle Of The Ivory Plains and Holy War were a full shred tour de force, the compositions on Starfall are generally contained within a more mid-paced parameter.
Produced by Tom S. Englund (who’s voice also appears on a handful of songs) of Evergrey fame, there is no question that his influence made its way into the creative process, as much of the music takes on that distinctive progressive vibe that he and his band are known for. With his assistance, the Swedish sextet seems to have truly found a sense of direction towards their own sound. Starfall exhibits the evolution between Dragonland, generic cookie cutter power metal, and Dragonland, the new leaders of the power-prog circuit.
Few tracks tread bombastic waters, instead exploring thick down tuned rhythms in place of sheer speed. With emotion, Dragonland have become better musicians. The songs on Starfall are played with heart and feeling rather than hands and feet alone. Though many of the same elements of the past are still present, such as over the top riffing, dazzling keyboard and lead work, and of course mind-blowing drumming, it is the way they have incorporated new ideas into the fold that makes the music even more memorable this time around.
The nature of this new protocol is quite a different affair from their previous works, and though the disc is certain to command the attention of new fans, it is possible that longtime devotees may feel a bit alienated. Every band eventually faces this fork in the road and must choose which path they believe to be in their best interest; The respect of their followers or artistic integrity? When sampling the material on Starfall, it is as plain as day that Dragonland have chosen the latter, and they were wise in doing so.
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