|Review: Domine - Dragonlord - Tales of the Noble Steel|
|Dragonlord - Tales of the Noble Steel|
Label: Metal Blade Records
Year released: 1999
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: September 19, 2003
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
for:Dragonlord - Tales of the Noble Steel
Rated 4/5 (80%) (14 Votes)
This was the second full-length release from the Italian metalheads of Domine. Back in '99 the Italian scene was just beginning to explode across the metal landscape, and this album rode that wave admirably.
"Dragonlord" is a solid power metal album, without the neoclassical/progressive overtones so prevalent in Italian metal. Domine serve up a lengthy disc of metal riffs and the soaring vocals of frontman Morby (who also did time in Labyrinth). There are some keyboards on this CD, but they are in the background, and for the most part "Dragonlord" focuses on pounding epic metal anthems. Some of these hit – "Thunderstorm", "Defenders" "Uriel". And some of them come out rather ponderous and plodding: "Last of the Dragonlords", "The Ship of the Lost Souls". Overall this album sounds pretty generic, and I think that is mostly a byproduct of its age. At the time, this was cutting edge, but power metal has evolved in the four years since this was recorded.
The cover art is pretty lame, and the lyrics wallow in fantasy/elf themes to a point where it almost becomes embarrassing – we're talkin' Rhapsody level dragon-worship here. I love fantasy lyrics, but I like them a little bloodthirsty (which is why I love Bal-Sagoth and Cauldron Born). This is a little too much even for me.
So "Dragonlord" is solid, and is hardly disappointing. The songwriting is far from original, and the songs do tend to drag on a little, but the production is top-notch and for power metal fans the pros far outweigh the cons. For straight-ahead power metal with no frills this will do just fine.
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