From the land of Sweden comes this promising five-piece progressive metal band. Their debut CD is a powerful take on the grand style of epic metal filled with double bass drums, speed-of-light guitar riffs, sweeping keyboards, melodic high pitched vocals, and fantasy themed lyrics. The band obviously wears their influences on their sleeves, notably Rhapsody, Yngwie Malmsteen, Edguy, Symphony X, and perhaps classic Rainbow, but add enough of their own style to make things interesting.
There are plenty of manic metal tunes here that will please every fan of the genre, such as the dynamic "Storming Across Heaven", which showcases the impressive vocal talents of drummer Jonas Heidgert and the chunky guitar playing of Nicklas Magnusson and Olof Morck. The two are a formidable duo, and when they are not weaving intricate solos around each other the guitarists indulge in savage duels with keyboard player Elias Holmlid. Fans of concept albums will love the complex tale of warriors doing battle to save their homeland, which reads like a J.R.R Tolkien story. The band does a great job of mixing epic sounds to perfectly compliment the lyrical content, but doesn't go overboard as a band like Rhapsody tends to on ocassion.
In a time where the world is so focused on terrorism and a slumping economy, it's nice to dive into a piece of music that can take you away from current events for an hour. The Battle of the Ivory Plains will do just that, and we can thank Dragonland for supplying a classical metal gem filled with great songwriting and musical muscle. Free the Dragonland!