Release DetailsLABEL SPV
RELEASED ON 2/27/2007
posted on 5/2007 By:
Crush the invisible orange and pump your empty fist because Metal's unsung heroes, Messiah's Kiss, are here to bring you a naked ass on their cover art. No, seriously, check it out. It's pretty sweet. It's too bad the music is so bland.
A ho-hum mix of Euro power and traditional metal, Dragonheart shows promise when the band picks up the pace on songs like the title track and "Steelrider," but the slower material sometimes sounds like sloppy modern Manowar covers (just listen to "Thunders of the Night"). They probably mean well. I mean, I don't think they're intentionally trying to slap us across the face with mediocrity. These are albums, though. You're given time to thoughtfully compose songs with decent replay value. It's not like someone is pointing a gun at the guitarist's head and forcing him to record whatever comes to mind at the moment. To be fair, there's some killer moments to be had ("City of Angels" comes to mind), but most of Dragonheart is background music. The market is so saturated with unashamed, honest and straight-forward power metal that one has to assume that listeners will demand more progression and originality, none of which Messiah's Kiss delivers on Dragonheart. While the band does embrace traditional elements often ignored by their power metal peers, their songwriting is too inconsistent and the choruses generally too weak to sustain real interest. The clean, safe and boring production doesn't help matters, either.
If ever there were a saving grace for Messiah's Kiss, it is Mick Tirelli. Very much in the Ronnie James Dio vein, Tirelli's vocals are commanding and fairly impressive in range. He holds notes well and understands the importance of hooks. He has enough versatility to sound equally comfortable on both slow and fast songs, though it's usually the fast songs that stick harder. True, his tone isn't particularly original or striking but it meets the schlocky feel of the lyrics in perfect harmony. Given the fact that he's working from a limited template, he does deliver a convincing performance overall.
Killer songs like "City of Angels," "The Ancient Cries" and "Steelrider," which wouldn't sound at all out of place on Saxon's Lionheart, can't keep Dragonheart from sinking under the weight of its own failed attempts at epic fantasy. Only loyal Messiah's Kiss fans (if these truly exist) and Euro power fiends need apply.
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