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True power metal - 99%

dragontheater, January 20th, 2010

I'm not exactly proud to admit it, but I was introduced to power metal by Dragonforce, although without guys like Dragonforce it would be more difficult for young kids to get into power metal. The most generic sounding power metal imaginable was also the only power metal I listened to for some time. How ignorant I was. While Dragonland's Astronomy was released in 2006, I listened to it in 2008 and even then it took me a more than few listens before I actually understood what I was listening to. So when I truly listened to it I was blown away.

There's not much to criticize, although there are a couple noticeable flaws. For one, the lack of songs with lyrics. There are four instrumentals on the album taking up 1/3 of the album. The ballad Too Late For Sorrow is bland, uninteresting, and easily the worst song on the album. You can just skip that one.

However, the instrumentals, The Book of Shadows Part IV and The Old House on the Hill Parts I-III, are simply amazing. Even though they might annoy some people at first, every single one makes up for it by the end. I wouldn't be surprised if Dragonland made an album made out of entirely instrumentals in the future.

The rest of the album is made up of instant classics. Supernova is simply amazing. I must've listened to it at least 100 times by now and it hasn't lost it's heaviness, catchy riff, or atmospheric appeal. The next track, Cassiopeia, has a surprising acoustic opening, but it actually goes along well with the song. There are female vocals in the song, but unlike in other metal songs, the female vocals enhance the song instead of hurting it. The third track, Contact, starts off a little slow, but then Jonas Heidgerdt's vocals come in with a vengeance and the song doesn't slow down again. The title track is up next and this one is a little slower than some of the other tracks, but is nevertheless amazing. The lyrics really tell the power of Astronomy the SCIENCE and I must admit I thought about space throughout the entire song. Next up is Antimatter, and compared to the other songs, it's different. Instead of speaking about the beauty of space, the songs talks of the unknown dangers of the final frontier. The use of death growls in hear goes rather well with the Bruce Dickinson type vocals here though. After The Book of Shadows Part IV, is Beethoven's Nightmare. It's completely different for the other songs in terms of lyrical content, but it just kicks so much ass it doesn't matter. Too Late For Sorrow then brings the album to a very unhappy stop. As I said before, it's just a bad song. Thankfully, Direction:Perfection is a perfect song to bring the album back together. After Direction comes the three part epic The Old House on the Hill. It's just this simple, The Old House on the Hill series fucking rules. It is a perfect mix between soundtrack music and metal. I cannot overstate how good these three songs are. If you buy this album, there's an entire story in the booklet that gives an interesting read and even more depth to the entire album.

Best songs: Every single one of them except Too Late For Sorrow