Ten years without a new studio album could be reason enough for a band to fall into oblivion, unless of course they left a lasting impression on their fans before their hiatus. In the case of Swedish melodic metal act DRAGONLAND, who have inspired their extensive following repeatedly since the release of their debut ‘The Battle of the Ivory Plains’ (2001), the anticipation of new material has continued to grow from year to year since their 2011 release ‘Under the Grey Banner.’ This anticipation is about to detonate like TNT on their impressive sixth offering ‘The Power of the Nightstar,’ scheduled for release on AFM/Soulfood on October 14th, 2022. The recording consists of twelve songs (plus two bonus tracks) and illustrates impressively that DRAGONLAND continue to be among the most energetic and passionate bands of their genre.
‘The Power Of The Nightstar’ is not only the band’s longest and most elaborate album to date, it also documents a remarkable artistic development. “The overall approach is a bit more cinematic sound-wise than our earlier releases,” keyboardist Elias Holmlid explains, adding: “Compared to ‘Under The Grey Banner’, the new album features more electronic elements while retaining and refining the symphonic parts. Fans of Dragonland will definitely recognize the songwriting style, which we’ve taken to even more epic proportions this time around, with dense choirs and maximized production values.” Two singles are set to be released even before the arrival of the album, probably in mid-March and mid-May, and a third single is scheduled for release one month after the album.
DRAGONLAND mark 2022 continue as the line-up consisting of Elias Holmlid, bassist Anders Hammer, vocalist Jonas Heidgert and guitarists Olof Mörck and Jesse Lindskog, complemented by drummer Johan Nunez (Firewind, ex-Nightrage), who joined the fold in 2014. Holmlid: “Johan has performed at all of our live gigs since. The new album is his first studio appearance with us. He’s a superb drummer, and we were super impressed with his performance in the studio.”
The album’s amazing range of wonderfully haunting, fast-paced melodic metal songs are sure to impress the group’s fans. From typical DRAGONLAND tracks such as ‘Flight from Destruction,’ ‘The Power of the Nightstar’ and ‘A Light in the Dark’ (Holmlid: “They’re all lush power metal tracks with gripping melodies that will leave no Dragonland fan disappointed”), their range includes numbers that are anything but typical of the band, such as ‘Celestial Squadron’ and ‘Journey’s End.’ Holmlid: “‘Celestial Squadron’ is a groovy symphonic space rock track featuring everything from epic choirs to vocoders. ‘Journey’s End’ is a somber powerful track with long soaring vocal lines, exercising Jonas’s wide range. It also features a duet with Elize Ryd of Amaranthe.”
The lyrics on ‘The Power of the Nightstar’ present Dragonland’s latest recording as an exciting and highly ambitioned offering. Says Holmlid: “It’s entirely a sci-fi concept album, telling the story of a people astray, looking for a new home throughout a hostile universe. The song ‘A Threat from Beyond the Shadows’ is written from the perspective of the antagonists, and ‘Final Hour’ details the cataclysmic battle that the story ultimately leads into.” It’s safe to assume the music and the album’s theme are closely interwoven.
In line with this, studio icon Jacob Hansen has ensured a perfectly mixed and mastered production. Holmlid: “It’s all packed together in a super-tight mix, courtesy of Jacob, who also engineered the drums at his studio. The other instruments and vocals were recorded at various studios owned by the band. We’ve produced the album ourselves, and Pedro Sena, who has worked with acts such as Amon Amarth, designed the artwork.” No doubt about it: ‘The Power of the Nightstar’ has DRAGONLAND impress at the highest level of excellence!
Read our review here.