Dragonland - Holy War
Black Lotus Records
Epic Heroic Fantasy Speed Metal
12 songs (56'37)
Release year: 2002
Dragonland, Black Lotus
Reviewed by Chris
Album of the month

Just as the Hollywood Metal category belongs to Rhapsody or Pirate Metal to Running Wild, the Heroic Fantasy Metal category truly belongs to this unbelievable band called Dragonland. There are a lot of epic bands out there, but not many can be compared to Dragonland, as their metal is really 100% Heroic Fantasy oriented and emotion packed to the bones.

This is the second album for this young band, and one can safely say that they for sure progressed from their debut and confirmed what we could almost assure then : that this band is really one of the best Epic bands from what I would call the second wave (or generation, I let you pick one) of True Metal. If you like stories about the forces of light fighting and dying to defeat evil, incarnating a true hero's feelings and power throughout more than 50 minutes of majestically wrote music : then I suggest you stop looking since this is exactly what Dragonland is all about.

As per the album itself, we're facing a brand new sound in this Holy War. Production which was almost one of Dragonland's debut weak point and have increased dramatically. It may not rival with an Edguy production, but we're getting close. The sound of the drums is now very powerful resulting in a very steady rhythm section (imagine a bunch of horses galloping through your mind). The solos, both keys and guitars, fighting each other at the speed of light are simply amazing. The vocals have also improved, with an even more emotion full vocal performance (yes, it's possible) and incredible high pitch screams. The songwriting, almost progressive at times is simply what makes this album a pure wonder of Epic True Metal, and a true masterpiece ! With very deep breaks that leaves you floating on other planes of existence... only to bring you back at Warp Speed to the cruel reality of a hero saving Dragonland's fate now as he did a hundred years ago all in the same time, while heavy riffs and majestic melodies will accompany him throughout the whole quest, warming his heart and filling his soul with the necessary strength and courage to accomplish his task. This is what I love about such music, when it becomes so intense, so emotional : that it literally transports you into the battlefield, expressing a much stronger feeling of reality than any book could achieve.

Songs like Return To The Ivory Plain, A Thousand Points Of Light are approaching perfection, after Freedom Call's Warriors, Dragonland puts the bar higher in the sky... The ending song (not the last track) is absolutely brilliant too. The albums ends up with a cover song (at least on the Japanese pressing), and I must say thank you to Dragonland for covering one of my favorite non-metal song : The Neverending Story !!! Unbelievable, this metalized version of the song is simply that : unbelievable ! Like on their debut, this album contains a very nice ballad. I prefer the incredible duet from the debut album cause the male-female duet added a lot to the dramatic feeling of that deep (and sad) song. Overall this album is a tad slower than their debut, but I think that it gained in maturity what it may have lost in raw speed.

If you're into True/Speed Metal, and especially epic stuff then don't miss this one for the world. Congratulations Dragonland, not only for confirming the extend of their talent after their excellent debut but for delivering a pure masterpiece of Epic Metal and without any doubt one of this year strongest release (a challenger for my albums of the year's top 10' selection). I can't wait to hear more from this band and I shall anticipate the third album with high expectations... Finally maybe a band that can (in time) replace the hole marked of a X in my heart. Buy or die !!!!!

Killing Songs :
All !!!! But Return To The Ivory Plain, A Thousand Points Of Light & The Neverending Story are unbelievable !
Chris quoted 92 / 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 - The Battle Of The Ivory Plains reviewed by Chris and quoted 88 / 100
5 readers voted
You did not vote yet.
Vote now

There are no replies yet to this review
Be the first one to post a reply!