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Review: Dragonland - Starfall

Label: Century Media Records
Year released: 2004
Duration: 49:22
Tracks: 11
Genre: Progressive Power Metal

Rating: 2.75/5

Review online: July 13, 2008
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating

Rated 3.49/5 (69.73%) (37 Votes)

I was a defender of Dragonland's early albums, despite that they were pretty generic. I thought Battle of the Ivory Plains was uneven but showed great potential. Holy War was solid but not as inspired, and now this. Starfall has a really cool cover, but I held off on reviewing it because I only barely consider it a metal album at all.

Starfall is not unlistenable, not terrible, but that very listenability points up why this is not a great metal album. There are some guitars on here, sure, but they are far from the focus of the music. Mostly this is a keyboard-and-vocal-oriented album with melodies so poppy they make me nostalgic for Journey's old albums, or maybe Boston. Other bands have mined this syrupy vein before, from Twilightning to Wuthering Heights, and they are all bands that I think are crap, despite that some people seem to love them. Me, I think if you love that kind of happy-poppy-boppity shit then go listen to top 40 radio or something. Mixing AOR with metal never produces anything good.

This album has enjoyable moments, but that very fact makes it kind of suspect, and the gloss of radio-friendly melody poured over this in no way makes it worth mentioning on a metal site. This is pop-metal at best, better written than the last Nocturnal Rites disc, sure, but no less egregious for that.

Other related information on the site
Review: Astronomy (reviewed by Christopher Foley)
Review: Holy War (reviewed by Larry Griffin)
Review: Starfall (reviewed by Larry Griffin)
Review: The Battle Of The Ivory Plains (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: The Battle Of The Ivory Plains (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Under the Grey Banner (reviewed by Christopher Foley)
Review: Under the Grey Banner (reviewed by MetalMike)
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