Dragonland – “Under The Grey Banner”

Dragonland
“Under The Grey Banner”
(AFM Records)

Wow, I’m feeling anything but grey after listening to this stupendous album! Closing off the year in style comes this fine, fine symphonic metal band from Sweden who also seem inspired by the neo classic sounds of Hans Zimmer and Lord Of The Rings – wow, I mean WOW! Needless to say songs like ‘Dunir’s Forge’ and the awesome ‘Fire And Brimstone” reflect both the passion and classic nature of these themes with a musicianship that’s second to none. Elsewhere, like on ‘Throne Of Bones’, the band almost opt for a Falconer style folk spoken word, while the delicate ‘Ivory Shores’ could’ve only been conceived by the Elves themselves. Much more than just a musical release, this astonishing 5th release by Dragonland could almost be a concept album – hardly a surprise when you consider that their first 2 self produced albums were based on The Dragonland Chronicles – and is certainly worthy in stature to anything conceived by Howard Shore for LOTR.

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