DRAGONY – Shadowplay

DRAGONY – Shadowplay

The second full-length "Shadowplay" from Austria’s Dragony is an interesting, diverse collection of tracks in the melodic power metal mold, but given a definite keyboard/semi-symphonic slant. Influences abound from all angles of the European continent – Helloween, Sonata Arctica, Stratovarius, and Avantasia would probably be the big four when taking in the bombastic opener "Wolves of the North", the folk-ish "The Maiden’s Cliff", and double bass/ choir filled "Babylon".

Guest vocals in spots from Circle II Circle’s Zak Stevens gives the ten minute epic "The Silent Sun" more of that Savatage building nature as the verses and choruses ebb and flow depending on the instrumental accompaniment. The sextet place equal importance on piano/ keyboard/ symphony elements from Manuel Hartleb as the guitar rhythms and clean work axe men Andreas Poppernitsch and Simon Saito display. It’s hard for me to take seriously a song like "Dr. Agony" when the main chord progressions and melodies sound like they are coming from a happy, jovial Broadway musical – maybe it’s something intended to be humorous, but vocalist Siegfried Samer uses a little too much of his theatrical upper antics to be less metal and more fluffy.

An entertaining cover of David Hasselhoff’s "True Survivor" as a bonus cut has given Dragony some internet buzz, but overall their original material isn’t above the grade when looking at where their brand of melodic power metal is going. ‘Glory Metal’ as they call it is supposed to be heroic, full of choirs, bombast, and power – but to my ears the latter aspect lacks the punch necessary to carry the band over the horizon.

Approach with necessary caution – Dragony probably will gain it’s fair share of followers, but struggle to attain much of a major following because of predictable songwriting.