ALBUM REVIEW: Twilight Force – Dawn Of The Dragonstar

Release Date: August 16th 2019
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Website: None available
Twitter: None available


Power metal often gets a fair amount of bad publicity from the wider alternative music spectrum, and it’s a shame that most acts are tarred with the same brush, despite bands such as DragonForce, Powerwolf, and Victorious showing that good quality power metal does exist.

Twilight Force, on the other hand, are the epitome of what makes this genre so divisive. Whether it’s the cringeworthy promo shots of the band all decked out some 18th century garb, or the fact that they all have ridiculously non-relevant nicknames (guitarist Philip Lindh is nicknamed “Lynd”… go figure), the daggers are literally out before the music has even started playing.

And with the title-track opener of ‘Dawn Of The Dragonstar’, it certainly starts in unsurprisingly, highly bombastic fashion. Their fantasy-esque aesthetic is incredibly strong, with massive melodies (new vocalist Alessandro Conti “Allyon” makes himself known quite early on) and plenty of instrumental action to divert us across a variety of places with the orchestral build up to the end of the track being outrageously euphoric.

And such is the pattern for the whole of this record, in fact. You can’t put them down for the levels of enthusiasm and effort that they clearly put into their personas and levels of instrumental talent, it’s just that there’s not a lot on here that’s particularly memorable to grip onto, and the formulaic approach combined with Conti‘s incredibly Marmite vocal style makes this quite a struggle to focus on throughout.

On a plus point, the production on ‘Dawn Of The Dragonstar’ is impressive, no thanks to multi-instrumentalists and producers “Lynd” and Daniel Beckman (“Blackwald”), and everything sounds squeaky clean and polished. The band are all very much gifted players of their instruments, with ‘Long Live The King’ containing a huge amount of individual talent, whilst feeling incredibly and narratively strong. But then the vocal hooks during the chorus are just north of being a bit silly, and then there’s some odd fiddle-esque work in one of the bridge sections that would provoke Michael Flatley‘s ‘Riverdance’ into full swing.

If you’re into over-the-top power metal then ‘Dawn Of The Dragonstar’ may be your bag, but while some of this is catchy in patches, it’s mainly forgettable in terms of song structure and uniqueness.