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Dragonsclaw - Prophecy - Advanced Promo - 2011 [ CD ]
1- Darkness Within
2- Fight For Your Life
3- Defenders Of The Skies
4 - Angels In White
5 - Prophecy Is A Lie
6 - Life Through Anubis' Eyes
7 - Devil's Firey Dance
8 - Rising Power
9 - Unknown Horizon
10 - Revolutionary Suicide
Lineup: Ben Thomas – Guitars Giles Lavery – Vocals Ray Martens – Keyboards Aaron Thomas – Bass Guitars & Orchestration
Well I really live for experiences like this, it was a typical -and almost boring day- but it seems that some good music changed it all. A new band out from nowhere and a debut that really shocked me. Not bad at all I would say but lets get straight to the point.
Dragonsclaw from Sydeny, Australia was formed into the mind of guitarist Ben Thomas somewhere arround 2007, but it was not until 2010 that the band got a stable compelted line up and started working on their debut album entitled "Prophecy". Someone would really expect from a new band to first go for a demo release or something. But first of all I would say that the word "newcomers" is not the most suitable one for Dragonsclaw -each member of the band has a great saga in music, a quick view on the bio of their members would make you realize it- and secondly instead of releasing a rough demo the band focused on their stuff, worked hard and completed a debut that could be easily described as one of the best Metal albums that some could hear lately.
Forged in the established traditions of Heavy Metal, the band delivers a sonic alloy of aggressive yet catchy song writing, soaring vocals, powerful melodies and blazing guitar solos combined with symphonic orchestration. This is a mix of Judas Priest, Helstar, Symphony X, early Kamelot, you can add some Malmsteen (Rising Force), some Ring Of Fire and some Eden's Curse and Empires Of Eden in order to shape in to your mind the sound-background and the influences of those Australians.
What I mostly have enjoyed in this band is the fact that they have balanced their influences in a perfect way. Somone may have expected from their six-string shredder Ben Thomas to focus mainly on his -magnificent- lead part and solos building a strong structure that would mainly bring this stuff to the first place. Well this is absolutely not happening in here, so if you are expecting a boring guitar shredding album simply pass away for this band. Everything in this album is laid down in a perfect way. Songs are based in solid riffs and when I point riffs i mean RIFFS, the best ones you can imagine, the vocals of Giles Lavery are the ultimate trademark of the band, you can also add the magic bass-lines of Aaron Thomas -who is responsible for the orchestration of the stuff well- and last but not least the keyboards of Ray Martins that take a very important role to the band's sound both when they fill some guitar parts or when they are presented through some brilliant lead parts. Again I must point about the great balance of the entire stuff focusing this time on the orchestration part: very careful arrangements have been made, guitars and keys in perfect combination and the result would still remain pure METAL.
Let's pick up some songs frοm the album OK? It would not be such an easy task as I would simply leave all of the album to fill my stereo speakers but OK let's focus to some stuff more closely.... The storm taking ala Jusas Priest opening riff of the opening track "Darkness Within" is the BEST way for the album to start, Giles vocals will absolutely take no prisoners in here, we got a great aggressive Metal tune in here, listen it as loud as you can -hey this goes for the entire album-. Perhaps my ultimate favorite on this release is the follower "Fight For Your Life" I think that both the main riffing of this song combined with the excellent keyboards and the vocals are giving birth to a perfect result. We got an excellent catchy chorus and some magnificent leads. This song represents all the band's great features the best possible way. "Defenders Of the Skies" follows and it will deliver straight into your face some great riffing ala US Steel, vocals in here are THE big deal, well if you hear those vocals more carefully you would find it yourself... yes you are right... we got a guest in here no one than Alessandro Del Vecchio (Edge Of Forever, Eden’s Curse, Glenn Hughes, Ian Paice and James LaBrie). Speaking about guests we can also hear Blaze Bayley (Iron Maiden, Wolfsbain) singing in the same titled "Prophecy Is A Lie" track. Ok lets pick some more songs and I guess that I also have to refer to the great Melodic Metal anthem "Angels In White" and to the "Revolutionary Suicide" which is the epilogue of the album and actually closes it the best possible way: the song is based in a melody interlude -based on piano, on some beautiful guitar fillings and the vocals of Alessandro -yes this is the second song he does guest vocals-, soon the song will turn to a Metal Storm, some great riff are lead in there and there is a wonderful symphonic part as well that would make the song sound even more epic.
The produced by Stu Marshall (Paindivision, Empires of Eden, ex-Dungeon) and its crystal clear and loud production does absolute justice to the songs.
OK lets sum things up: The album rules simple as that. This band came out of nowhere and they are are actually handing a Metal bomb full of inspiration, passion and power, that should be released as soon as possible. For those who are after some high quality Metal this is the record they should look for. It is already on my top ten list for the best albums of the year and because I am hardly looking to complete the record label field in my list as fats as possible this is a message for the labels out there: this band is looking for one, release this anthem, such an album would increase the artistic status of your label.
Review by: Countraven
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