Saturday, December 09, 2006

Upload: Dragonland - Astronomy

I got this album from drop him a comment for this one, because despite some oddities, kinks, and flaws, it's pretty damn good.

The album starts with one of the strongest tracks, "Supernova." The song gives a great idea of what is to come: orchestral elements and electronics added to semi-power metal (I hesitate to use the genre name, because this album isn't really all that power metally), with soaring vocals, solos on both keyboard and guitar, etc. There's definitely a heavy, heavy emphasis on the electronics, though; I would categorize the band's sound somewhere between Dragonforce and Dark Tranquillity. "Supernova" and "Casseopia", tracks 1 and 2, are a bit more midpaced than most other songs on the album, and I think this actually suits their unique style a little better, as many of the faster songs, like "Contact" or "Direction Perfection" are more derivative of other power metal. The best track on the album is definitely "Beethoven's Nightmare," with fluid, mobile piano over a metal background and small clips of Beethoven piano pieces blended in seamlessly. "Too Late for Sorrow" just doesn't quite fit with everything else, a vaguely listenable song though it is.

The other side of the album, though, is the classical and neoclassical side. This starts in full force with "The Book Of Shadows Part IV: The Scrolls Of Geometria Divina," an entirely orchestral piece -- there is no guitar, no vocals, nothing except the orchestra. The album also ends with a trio of neoclassical instrumentals, making up "The Old House on the Hill"; these tracks do include the band. While these are nice, in the end I'm not really wanting to listen to these as much as I want to spin "Supernova" or "Beethoven's Nightmare."

And one more little, tiny complaint: it's like this is a concept album that was abandoned halfway through. The album name is Astronomy, the first 5 songs are named after celestial bodies or spacey things (Supernova, Casseopia, Contact, Astronomy, Antimatter), and then it just drops off. I don't get it.

A little flawed, a little iffy, but overall very much satisfactory.

7.3 half-assed album concepts out of 10.

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