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Couldnt have progressed better - 95%

SirMichaelJ, February 22nd, 2007

One thing Dragonland has always been is cheesy, some like it, some don't. For those who do, every release has been a pleasure. Now come Astonomy, the 4th cd by these fellows. Unlike the previous releases this one is for the metal masses, they retain some of the overall cheesy feel but add so much more of other elements it's tolerable.

Why is this album so enjoyable for all? Variety. There is tracks that are geared more towards progressive metal, such as Supernova, this song has a mix of power metal and progressive metal, but the dominant style is progressive. The keys are all there but do not hinder this song whatsoever. The combination of female vocals and male vocals really sets this song to another level, helps the whole contrast of the song.

You can than have the wildcard tracks such as Antimatter, who was partly written by members of Nightrage. This track shows the diversity Dragonland is taking with their approach to music. It sounds like a brilliant hybrid of melodic death metal and power metal, but not the shitty Bodom style. A much better, refined less electronic sounding combo. Not to mention if you had this release last year you got a sneak peak to Nightrages new vocalist. This song really changes the pace of the cd with its aggresion and overall demeanor. Great placment for this song, and even better job writing it.

Than you have the power metal side of Dragonland. The song Beethoven's Nightmare starts off with by far the catchiest riff on the album. What the best part of this song is how they blend the progressive elements, the movie theme elements and power metal elements, while keeping it sounding like power metal. Not only is the music well written but the lyrics are about one of the best composers in human history writing his last symphony while going deaf. It takes dynamics to write about such a subject. Not only that but the way they describe really sets a mood that cannot by described other than listening to the lyrics. This song i rahter lengthy, but for good reason. It changes pace a lot and never bores. The middle section has a really soft, long mellow solo, but charges right back into gear after one of their classic movie type interludes.

The last thing that makes this cd stand out is the Movie type sound scores they throw in. Not only do they flow well with the music, but it sounds like they should be in a major motion picture. The emotion, the vivid imagery, the sheer vastness of the landscape is all there. The bands that attempt usually fail because they can't make it sound epic enough while at the same time not sounding like a stereotypical band. Dragonland far exceeds this and sounds like true professionals.

All in all this is one of the best releases of 06. No two songs even remotely sound alike, and they switch styles while retaining their core sound. You can't really ask for much more. Look forward to any more releases from this band, because they have done nothing but improve since day one.