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(Spitfire Records / Eagle)

I'm definitely not going to criticize the technical skills of DRAGONLORD as the members' names should already be proof enough of the quality to be expected here. Eric Peterson (TESTAMENT) on guitar and vocals(!), Steve DiGiorgio (SADUS, DEATH etc.) on bass, Jon Allen (SADUS) on drums, Steve Smyth (current tour guitarist of TESTAMENT) and the as of yet unknown keyboard player Lyle Livingston have all joined forces in this new outfit to unleash their very own vision of "symphonic Black / Thrash Metal". And with an allstar line-up like this, it was probably not too difficult to find a label willing to release a product pretty quickly. So, at the end of the day Spitfire Records signed them up and the result is this eight song debut entitled "Rapture", which probably would have caused a storm of interest within the scene a couple of years ago. But I seriously doubt that DRAGONLORD will still manage to achieve something like that nowadays as their entire songwriting formular is way to close to what Norways Black Metal shooting stars DIMMU BORGIR are delivering for quite some time now. The combination of symphonic eerie keyboards, harsh vocals and powerful thrashy riffing has become pretty trendy ever since Shagrath & Co took off and the market is already flooded with bands doing the same. So, apart from the evident quality of DRAGONLORD's material, the only reason why people might consider investing their hard earned money in this (instead of some less known newcomer of a similar class) could be the curiosity caused by the names involved. Don't get me wrong - the songs are great and Peterson is also doing a decent job on the vocal front. But there's a whole lot of bands out there who can pull it off in the same way and they have to struggle a lot more...

Frank Stöver

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