Twilight Force – Dawn of the Dragonstar

Band: Twilight Force
Album: Dawn of the Dragonstar
Release Date: 16th August 2019
Record Label: Nuclear Blast

For those of you who have known/followed me on here and on Facebook since last year, you’ll know that I spent a lot of last year dealing with some significant personal issues and personal growth, and that I missed out on a lot of big and awesome releases last year that would have been top of the list for me to review when they came out had I been in a better state of mind. So what better time than lockdown when I’m not going anywhere to catch up on those releases and make some more mediocre content for this website?

I first heard a couple of songs from Twilight Force from their first album Tales of Ancient Prophecies, and then heard odd songs from Heroes of Mighty Magic (album number 2, and one of the best uses of directional sound I have EVER heard in the Epilogue) until I saw them live supporting Sabaton in early 2017. The live show was amazing and magical, but sadly since then I have yet to have another opportunity to see them perform live. And I missed this album release due to the above reasons I mentioned.

I’ve heard a few songs from Dawn of the Dragonstar before, but have not had the chance to listen all the way through, so this is my first FULL listen of the album. A sinister voice starts us off, before the familiar magical adventure metal graces our ears. It’s uplifting and powerful, and Allyon’s (Alessandro Conti, of Trick or Treat, ex-Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody) vocals suit the style so well. There’s some incredible solos from Lynd, as you would expect from any power metal album. It’s a memorable and energetic track to kick of the album with.

Thundersword’s introduction is worthy of a fantasy film with the orchestra; brass and strings dominate. The pace of the main body of the song is a little slower than the title track, but it’s no less magical and triumphant. There’s even some banjo/uke in this track for a brief period of time! It’s a track that is perfect for headbanging, the mighty power fist (to hold the Thundersword), singalongs, and of course a phone light in the air! The introduction to Long Live The King makes me think of a magical forest, and it’s a great to dance and move around to. The chimes throughout the song give it that extra dash of magic and puts a smile on my face. The chorus is a great singalong too.

Another orchestral epic, With the Light of a Thousand Suns beings in some more sinister vibes and choral vocals before Allyon and an operatic female voice come in to great triumph and the entire track feels like you could be galloping into the sunset, or towards a magical place filled with bright light! Winds of Wisdom lightens the mood again with the intro, and is the right pace to sway with hands in the air, before picking up enough for me to chair dance as I write this. When I’ve learned the words, I’ll also be singing along to the chorus! It’s a catchy, uplifting track, with some brilliant vocal techniques.

Queen of Eternity has a much darker feel to it, even with the orchestral elements. The track does becoming more uplifting, but there’s still a grittier and darker feel to it. It still has that Twilight Force magic though. Valley of the Vale brings back the familiar uplifting, magical introduction with a fast paced track. There’s a singalong chorus, and pretty much everything you could want in a fantasy power metal track.

Appropriately, for a track called Hydra, the sounds of the sea fill our ears, with some mystical strings. It almost sounds like a Marvel film score, before the fast gallop of the drums kicks in. Some spooky spoken word adds to the atmosphere. Twilight Force has an amazing talent of making the most sinister and evil stories sound uplifting and happy. I could easily sing along to this chorus live. Even with a very foreboding bridge section, we’re straight back to the uplifting music. Twilight Force just can’t be evil!

The opening of Night of Winterlight is prominent in the strings. This track evokes feelings of happiness and elation. Can I please be riding dragons and giant eagles across beautiful landscapes of green valleys and mountains? Next up, is there a much more power metal title than “Blade of Immortal Steel”? There is a calming piano intro, before the all too familiar and magical full instrumental. There’s an almost Far Eastern interlude, followed by some more mid-western style instrumental for a brief time. This 12 and a half minute long epic lets the instrumental tell the story, and the lyrics take a back seat in this one. There are so many sections, I just can’t describe them all, you need to listen for yourself and take it all in. It’s an entire story within a story to finish this chapter of the Twilight Force saga.

There are also some demo and alternative versions of tracks on the Spotify version of the album (I will be able to afford to buy a copy at the end of the month!), which I would encourage you to listen to.

Twilight Force’s albums are soundtracks in their own right. I love the entire concept of completely embracing the fantasy theme and storytelling; in their music, on stage, and through their promotion. There are so many little intricacies in the composition that I imagine I will continue to discover with more listens. It is often the case with such music that you might not notice these little additions, but you would know if they weren’t there. Twilight Force definitely appeal to my happy, dancey, very much nerdy side, and I’m learning to embrace that a lot more in lockdown.
On a more personal level on the Twilight Force Discord server (linked below), Lynd in particular is so lovely and is more than happy to talk to the fans and connect with people, and also has his own Twitch stream (also linked below) where he is far too humble for the talent he has.
I REALLY hope I get the chance to see Twilight Force live again some day. Unfortunately I don’t think I’ll be able to make the rescheduled European dates due to the COVID-19 situation in the UK (another rant not for this platform), but it just means more money to do festivals and gigs next year, and maybe some travelling to said festivals and gigs… Regardless, Twilight Force can expect some of my dragon gold heading their way at the end of the month when I next get paid!

Twilight Force – Dawn of the Dragonstar

Verdict: 10/10

Buy Twilight Force music and merch: https://www.twilight-force.black-harbour.shop/merch
Listen to Twilight Force on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/0tO6ALWmduAbneXoHmnl2T
Follow Twilight Force on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/twilightforce/
Twilight Force Discord: https://discord.gg/6q9qjAc
Lynd Twitch channel: https://www.twitch.tv/lyndwastaken
Nuclear Blast website: https://www.nuclearblast.de/en

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