Napalm Records [Release date 15.01.21]
This is the 4th album from the Austrian Power metal crew Dragony and it is a tale from the glorious days of empire when Emperor Franz Joseph ruled. However, this is no straightforward, boring history lesson as the story is given a Dragony twist, not sure the official version contains mention of zombies or cyber punks!
The story may be embellished but the full-on power metal accompaniment is most definitely the genuine article. Furious fretboard work and thunderous drumming are the order of the day and Dragony deliver in spades.
The album opens on a gentle note with the band’s take on Strauss’s ‘Blue Danube’, much like watching the Vienna New Year concert but with added guitars. We are soon into full on power metal though with ‘Gods Of War’ complete with breakneck riffs and athletic double bass drum work. ‘Love You To Death’ then kicks off with a majestic opening piece which flows into a slow burning track with a big, harmonious chorus.
Guitar duo Andres Poppernitsch and Simon Saito lead the way in ‘Magic’ with a huge riff which leads into a full-on metal romp with a great solo mid song. ‘Darkness Within’ then slows the pace with a brooding melody which is as dark as the title suggests. It’s not all downbeat though as there is a heavy mid-section to keep things rocking nicely.
‘A.E.I.O.U’ shows off the vocal talents of Siegfried Samer who has a rich, sonorous voice which is well suited to this style of music. The album title track follows riding on a wave of excellent double bass drumming provided by Frederic Brunner and contains multiple time and key changes.
‘Golden Dawn’ and ‘Made Of Metal (Cyberpunk Joseph)’ are both classic power metal tracks which will have you singing along in the choruses. The aptly named epic ‘Battle Royale’ ups the pace once more with a hint of Sabaton in the mix. In fact, Sabaton guitarist Tommy Johansson is one of several guests who appear on the album so there may well be some influence there. The album was also mixed at the studio of Sebastian Levermann of Orden Organ for added power metal kudos.
‘Legends Never Die’ contains a great sing along mid-section which is destined to be a live favourite whilst ‘Haben Sie Wien schon bei Nacht geseh’n’ finishes off the album with a final power metal flourish sung in the band’s native tongue.
Historically this album may take a few liberties with the retelling of the final days of the Hapsburg empire, however there is nothing false when it comes to the music and musicianship on show. This is power metal at it’s finest from a band and an album that deserve your attention, or the boys will send the zombies round…
Review by Dave Wilson
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