Dragonland - The Power Of The Nightstar

geoviangeovian Earth Orbit
edited November 5 in year-2022

'The Power Of The Nightstar' holds many hidden treasures that can't be unravelled in a single listen, it'll take a few plays for me to get to the bottom of the cargo bay before I truly understand what it is that Dragonland have recorded.

Dragonland - The Power Of The Nightstar
ARTIST: Dragonland
ALBUM: The Power Of The Nightstar
LABEL: AFM Records
SERIAL: AFM 749-9
YEAR: 2022

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Flag Sweden
LINEUP: Jonas Heidgert - vocals * Olof Morck - lead guitars, violin * Elias Holmlid - keyboards * Jesse Lindskog - guitars * Anders Hammer - bass * Johan Nunez - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 The Awakening * 02 A Light In The Dark * 03 Flight From Destruction * 04 Through Galaxies Endless * 05 The Scattering Of Darkness * 06 A Threat From Beyond The Shadows * 07 Aphelion * 08 Celestial Squadron * 09 Resurrecting An Ancient Technology * 10 The Power Of The Nightstar * 11 Final Hour * 12 Journey's End * 13 Oblivion

RATING: Score of 90%
WEBLINKS: FB Site Link

Background

Back around 2004, I discovered this overblown Swedish prog metal band and was immediately reeled in. This was during an era where prog metal was quite prominent for me, following hard on the heels of my Norwegian faves Pagan's Mind who I stumbled upon two years earlier. I've never forgotten my Dragonland indoctrination and even two decades on, they feature heavily on my radar.

I know the band have been in hiatus for many years, so imagine my shock and surprise to see them back in 2022 with a new album for AFM Records. The metal gods are indeed bestowing us with gifts from the cosmos. I couldn't be happier. 'The Power Of The Nightstar' represents the band's sixth album overall (second for AFM) while the personnel is slightly tweaked from the past, with new drummer Johan Nunez (ex Nightrage) now onboard.

Dragonland Band pic 2022

The Songs

There's a lot for me to like without even turning up the music. The gorgeous cover art is something to behold, and how about those insanely trippy sci-fi song titles? Oh yeah! Right up my exhaust vent if you know what I mean. If any of you recall the bombast of previous albums such as 'Starfall' and 'Astronomy' then you'll be pleased to know that Dragonland have magically time warped as if it's 2008! The musical delivery is at times off the scale with speed, melody and heaviness being the holy trinity.

The cinematic opening intro 'Awakening' includes a spoken word narration which leads us into the core of the album. 'A Light In The Dark' begins in a subdued fashion though there are lots of twists going on which adds to the songs overall busy-ness, especially in the keyboard department.

'Flight From Destruction' introduces the speed component, the double kick drums, twin guitars, plus keyboard overkill is reminiscent of a band like Metalite for instance, but swap out the female vocals for male. 'Through Galaxies Endless' slows the motor as Dragonland get their point across with subtlety rather than outright bludgeon.

'The Scattering Of Darkness' bears witness to a hybrid of symphonic elements coupled with some modern synth touches. The results speak for themselves. On 'A Threat From Beyond The Shadows', the drum work lifts to rapid fire status. Don't try this with Nana's knitting needles, you might damage something!

We'll skip through 'Aphelion' which is an instrumental interlude. Let's dive bomb directly into 'Celestial Squadron' instead, the band keeping a lid on things tempo wise, but the guitar and synth combo is multi-phasic. 'Resurrecting An Ancient Technology' is an interesting name for a song, and when combined with the title track 'The Power Of The Nightstar' it makes for an aural hammerblow.

There's more rapid fire drum work to be found on 'Final Hour'. This track is high on dramatics and time changes galore. Can you keep up? 'Journey's End' on the other hand sees Dragonland at their most wistful. Cinematic is the description I would use yet again, especially if you listen out for all symphonic instruments. 'Oblivion' completes the album in a restrained mode, holding the tiger firmly by the tail rather than going out in a blaze of bombastic glory.

In Summary

I'll be the first to acknowledge that sci-fi oriented prog metal isn't usually the bread and butter for a mostly AOR site like GDM, but as the Lord's Prayer says: forgive us our daily trespasses, for we don't know any better. I'll admit that Dragonland are pure indulgence for a bloke like me, and accept that many GDM readers will be raising their eyebrows reading this.. Lol.

'The Power Of The Nightstar' holds many hidden treasures that can't be unravelled in a single listen. It'll take a few plays for me to get to the bottom of the cargo bay before I truly understand what it is that they've recorded. We've certainly written some oddity reviews over the years but this album wouldn't be one of them. I'll enjoy it while I can.

Video

The Power Of The Nightstar

Flight From Destruction


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