Holy Dragons - Gotterdammerung
True Power Metal
9 songs (53:57)
Release year: 2004
Holy Dragons
Reviewed by Jay

Though I’ve never heard of Holy Dragons before this album, it turns out that this is their sixth release. They are Central Asia’s biggest metal band hailing from Kazakhstan. Their music has roots in the old time Painkiller and Holy Diver style classic metal with power metal influences from old Helloween and Manowar. This really is a throwback style to the late 80’s in terms of sound derivation. Dual guitar harmonies as well as chugging riffs are a mainstay of this band’s sound. While not original in the least, it’s awesome to see a band from a place that metal would seem unknown to be blasting out the essence of true heavy metal.

Vocalist Holger Komaroff emulates an amalgam of metal singers running the gamut from Dio to Dave Mustaine. The interesting vocals wrap the music in a fabric of continuity. He sings in Russian however the song titles are in English so you can get a gist of what is going on. Some songs are very Maiden influenced especially the short but sweet “The Cursed Spirit.” Some great soloing and dual leads combine to make this track a sure fire killing song. The music, as mentioned before, is not too original but the band manages to make the best of it. Their production is quite reminiscent of 80’s metal production in terms of the sound and quality. I don’t know if this was intentional or just that more modern equipment could not be found in Kazakhstan. Regardless, the sound is clean and well edited. Some slips are noticeable such as guitar tracks being lost inside the dense mix. The cymbal sound is somewhat annoying after a while. It is too high pitched and ringy. There is no emphasis behind the massive crash when they are pounded to hell. I really appreciate the massive sound element this can bring to music, especially power metal and it just seems to be missing here. This again is a small problem which can easily be rectified on a future release. Aside from these minor quibbles, the production is good for what it is.

Steel Eagle” kicks off with some inspired lead soloing and even dips into death metal territory for a second or two before unleashing pure heavy metal. This song is probably my favorite on the album. The guitars soar and are well balanced against the fury coming from the drum kit. The bass line is nothing too spectacular but it supports the music well. For some reason, I think I can hear some Motorhead influence here as well as early Gamma Ray. “Blood of the Elves” is the opener and after the acoustic intro, the pounding of double bass enters. The bass drums are mixed too high in this song and detract from an otherwise remarkable metal track. The one skipper is the bonus track called “Living on the Edge.” It’s not an Aerosmith cover and is just a six-minute attempt to emulate Pink Floyd which fails. I feel sorry for anyone who spends extra money for this is a weak bonus to give a loyal fan. This band has promise and hopefully they’ll expand their horizons and produce a more original next album.

Killing Songs :
Steel Eagle, The Cursed Spirit
Jay quoted 67 / 100
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