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Review: Magma Dragon - Full Attack Action
Magma Dragon
Full Attack Action

Label: Independent
Year released: 2014
Duration: 62:39
Tracks: 15
Genre: Power Metal

Rating: 4.25/5

Review online: December 10, 2015
Reviewed by: Edward T. Head
Readers Rating
Full Attack Action

Rated 4/5 (80%) (3 Votes)

Milwaukee, Wisconsin's Magma Dragon are a difficult band to pin down. Aesthetically, Power Metal is the best fit, but sonically, well, that's a bit of a different story. There are certainly plenty of Power Metal elements to Magma Dragon's sound, but there's also Folk, Rock, and the occasional brief flirtation with the more extreme side of things. In other words, the band keeps things interesting with its unique take on fantasy-laden metal.

While Full Attack Action is, in essence, Magma Dragon's first full-length album, it's actually a gathering of the band's three demos, with six additional songs added. The demos are not presented in their original running order, and the new tracks are spread throughout, so great effort went into making sure that Full Attack Action was much more than a mere compilation album.

Album highlights, and perhaps the best examples of what Magma Dragon offer, are back-to-back tracks "Bulette Blood" and "Dungeons and Flagons". The first is a speedier affair, with a great chorus, while the latter is a folksy ballad that will bring a smile to any and all fans of fantasy role-playing games. And for a front row seat to the lunacy occasionally strewn about, look no further than "The Old Woods of Graczne", with its twisted carnival-like atmosphere.

Lead man Dan Clark has a voice that lacks polish, but it fits the album well. New lead vocalist Kara Phillips offers lead vocals on a couple of later tracks, and while she's more of a pure vocalist, she lacks power and force. Since she'll be handling lead vocals from now on, hopefully this is just a product of the recording. The overall production/mix is consistent, which is important considering that the tracks were drawn from multiple releases, but it's a little raw as well. While that's not unexpected from a self-released album, a bit more polish could have really made the album shine.

For a band I discovered while browsing Bandcamp (it certainly pays dividends to get your music out there in whatever way you can), Magma Dragon could hardly be a more pleasing find. Full Attack Action should find a happy home with anyone who likes their Power Metal fantasy-drenched, and taken with a good shot of the out-of-the-ordinary.

Other related information on the site
Interview with Dan Clark (guitars, vocals) and Kara Phillips (vocals) on December 19, 2015 (Interviewed by Edward T. Head)
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