Dragon Heart - Throne Of The Alliance
Dragon Heart was formed in July 1997 in Curitiba, Brazil, and this is the very band that forced Englands Dragonforce to change their name from just Dragonheart to what they are named now, due to an obvious name conflict. Reading the info on their website, we learn that they are "influenced by the 80's Heavy Metal and mixing elements of Medieval, Classic, and Celtic Music, the band makes a Power Metal with developed melodies and epic vocals."
In Dragon Hearts music we can in fact find a bit of everything: epicness, a bit of folk tunes, straight heavy metal riffs and swirling solos. It's a bit Grave Digger, a bit Falconer or Elvenking, a bit undetermined 80's obscure heavy metal. Unfortunatly they seem to want too much. Instead of picking up a few influences and work on that to make something god out of it, they are tosssing and turning between styles and tempo changes a few times too many. The result is a very shattered and disolved soundpicture which disturbs more than satisfies.
The albums opens, if not good, so at least somewhat decent, with a fast standard power metal tune that contains fast riffing, an epic (a bit too overworked and pretentious, though) chorus and some nice leads. It follows by The Blacksmith that is the albums big asset. A heavy, more classic heavy metal oriented tune with a good, pumping riff and a hymnlike refrain. It works best like this, when it sounds like the songs are some that Grave Digger wish they have written - simple, with a great groovy riff, and the vocals made me look up if Chris Boltendahl of Grave Digger actually participates as guest vocalist. I can find no information about that but instead it seem to be bassist Mauricio Taborda, so in that case it is spooky how alike the vocals are on certain parts. Reading that they have opened for Grave Digger on some shows in the past does not come as a surprise at all.
Ghost Galleon that follows are a more medieval Falconer-like song with a great riff, that sadly enough is used far too little. Great groove a'la Running Wild, and more usage of that verseriff would make it a killer. The refrain is good, and we are currently in the middle of the highlight of the album.
From here it goes downwards, and that is due to the fact that they fall into the standard, epic power metal trap. The next 3 songs are simply put very boring, the obvious efforts of making it as epic as possible fail tremendously. If you can't do it properly and with style, it falls very flat. The choirs are bad, the songlines and riffs are on a kindergarden level. Hall Of The Dead Knights is among the worst I have heard in quite a while.
Nothing changes with Betrayal In The Coast Of Raven, despite a nice guitar lead - it just adds to the feeling that by now it's to much. No metal is usually better than bad metal like this, especially when you have heard that they can do good if they just try. The following ....And The Dark Valley Burns goes on in the epic style - nothing special - and Sunrise In The Akronis Sky is forged more in the classic 80's heavy metal style spiced with a few Helloween leads and riffs. It works, but without being an eyebrow raiser, and is one of very few picks from this album if I am forced to make any at all.
It all ends with a most mediocre cover of Rebellion (The
Clans Are Marching) by Grave Digger.
Despite my words about the band, I can hear that they
have some potential, but it seems to require a lot of more work and
that they get a hold of themselves and focus on good and tight songwriting.
They have some melodies and riffs - they just have to do something with