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Twilight Force: Dawn Of The Dragonstar

I first encountered Twilight Force when they opened a three band bill alongside Accept and Sabaton, the Swedish fantasy power metallers dressed as though the healing potion from an Advanced D&D’s druid had backfired in the most budget-end cosplay emporium you could find. They were, however, tremendous, if rather silly, fun. They also held their own alongside two veteran outfits at the top of their game and impressed many of the night’s early revellers as they clanked their flagons of mead and swung their swords along to the gallop of drums and ear piercingly soaring vocals. So much so in fact that the very next day I sat astride my trusty steed waving a copy of the band’s second album, 2016’s Heroes Of Mighty Magic, aloft in triumph.

Only once my transport was tethered, watered and nose-bagged did I settle in for what actually proved to be a slightly disappointingly one dimensional journey. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t expecting some progressive tour de force but the trouble was that once Twilight Force hit the ground at full speed, they simply never once took their foot off the gas and offered something less chest beating or bombastic.

Here we are some three years down the line with the band’s third album, Dawn Of The Dragonstar, now in tow as once more the force of twilight draw their blades to charge into battle. As is so often the way in this setting, prepare for a duel to the death between the guitars of Lynd and Aerendir as they go toe to toe against the keyboard crescendos of Blackwald. To their credit, for the most part Twilight Force get it right, fretboards triumphing just often enough to make the metal mighty, while the synths bolster the rearguard and fill out the sound. Vocalist Allyon is also a fearsome force, his attack full of grace and gusto as he pushes his way to the front. Individually all these constituent parts are thoroughly impressive and believable but where things, for me, come a little unstuck is not so much through the fantasy based lyrics and sheer grandiosity of it all but from the fact that every track is desperate to hit with so much frantic fury that each and every one of the ten sounds like either a huge, bombastic album opener or a thunderous, clattering close to proceedings. In fact, and rather ironically, it isn’t until the 12 minutes-plus of final foray “Blade Of Immortal Steel” where a little light and shade are added to the mix, leaving the most full on of experiences somehow lacking in dynamics. To their credit Twilight Force do look to alter things along the way, the aforementioned “Blade Of...” hinting at Oriental themes through the choice of instruments employed, while the varied keyboard sounds incorporated attempt to offer up some different flavours, but neither with any real lasting effect.

In the end, Dawn Of The Dragonstar is crash, bang wallop metal with a very singular attack, one dimensional drums and a cluttered sound. Quite remarkably though, there’s no point in denying that it’s also big dumb fun.

Track Listing
1. Dawn Of The Dragonstar
2. Thundersword
3. Long Live The King
4. With The Light Of A Thousand Suns
5. Winds Of Wisdom
6. Queen Of Eternity
7. Valley Of The Vale
8. Hydra
9. Night Of Winterlight
10. Blade Of Immortal Steel

Added: September 1st 2019
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Twilight Force on facebook
Hits: 871
Language: english

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