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Twilight Force > Battle of Arcane Might > Reviews
Twilight Force - Battle of Arcane Might

With the force of a thousand dragons! - 95%

hells_unicorn, July 10th, 2016
Written based on this version: 2016, Digital, Nuclear Blast

There is an epic battle that has been raging in the power metal world for the past few years, the prize of which being the title of most shamelessly campy band with the most over-the-top sound dedicated to dragons and arcane lore. On one side stands a clearly comical affair in Gloryhammer, led by the same Scottish jester that brought us swashbuckling mayhem of Alestorm, and on the other is a recently born Swedish act dubbed Twilight Force that seems to be a bit more seriously intended, though coming out with a comparatively similar campy sound to the former. The latter clearly has an edge both in terms of songwriting and general ambition, taking a heavy deal of cues from the Rhapsody Of Fire camp, but through the lens of the overt happiness of Freedom Call and the mode of conceptual storytelling offered up on Morifade's debut Possession Of Power. Two years after dropping their wildly symphonic yet fairly short debut EP Tales Of Ancient Prophecies (heavily reminiscent of the Morifade album mentioned previously), they've provided a taste of what will be their follow up Heroes Of Mighty Magic.

True to the old cliche of not messing with perfection, Battle Of Arcane Might trends pretty close to the bulk of what made Twilight Force's debut album, and particularly their lead off song "Enchanted Dragon Of Wisdom" such an enthralling affair for those coveting melody and pomp. There has been a few line up changes over the last year or so, but nothing that significantly changed and arguably the most important member of the cast Christian Hedgren (who unsuccessfully tried out to become ZP Theart's replacement in Dragonforce) is back, only now going by the name Chrileon. The vocals are a bit less prone to extreme glass-shattering shrieks on this song, but the same general character of a soaring tenor with a dynamic range has been maintained. The song itself is largely an exercise in speed, particularly in terms of the guitars which are still shred-happy, though opting to do a bit less noodling in between verse lines, and the drums rumble and gallop away like it's going out of style. Perhaps the biggest point of interest is the overall massive sound of the entire arrangement, which mirrors the production quality of the previous LP so perfectly that one has to wonder if they simply used the exact same settings in the studio, but it is in no way a bad thing.

There are singles that are great, there are individual songs that captivate and make one beg for the album to be released sooner, and then there is Twilight Force's Battle Of Arcane Might. While it might be playing it a bit safe with their present fan base, it points to a band that is going to try upping the ante with an album that boasts to be double the length of the first one. In a sense, this song may prove to be a bit deceptive as what may lay in store by the end of August when Heroes Of Mighty Magic hits the music outlets could prove to be on another level entirely to where this band was in 2014. That's basically the brilliance behind this song, as it demonstrates that this band is just as competent at what they've been doing now that they have some different members, and thus will be able to likely pivot into even greater horizons. To all the shameless power metal knights on vacation, pack up your swords and shields, give this rock solid song a listen and make ready for battle once again in about seven weeks time!