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Dragonbreed - Necrohedron

by Matt Bozenda at 03 July 2022, 5:15 PM

At one time or another, we all watch a movie or an episode of TV with an epic battle scene. Typically, we have the benefit of a focused protagonist for whose side to root for, but by the end of the plot all the credit goes to one or a set of main characters. They might splice in shots of individual acts of heroism from nameless soldiers but you never get to hear if they got any platitudes from it, assuming the next scene doesn’t show them getting killed.

Have you ever wondered about them? The roles filled by extras to fight the war on screen? Well, when Ragnarok comes for Heavy Metal Valhalla, and the camera pans across the front line, see if you don’t recognize BDRAGONBREED standing there, pikes in hand. Their debut album, “Necrohedron”, is proof enough that their armor fits, they’ve trained with their weapons, and they’re prepared to stand bravely while elite cavalry runs them down.

Melodic Death metal is the only thing on the menu here, and you’ll get it straight up on tracks like “Summoning The Arcane” and the less growly “Offerings From Yonder”. “The World Beyond” sticks with genre principles even while it takes a sedate pace.

Depth is achieved through moments of acoustic meandering. We’re given a taste of this right away on “The Undying”, with a soft middle, and we get the docile strings to end “Sinister Omen”. The album’s longest song, “Dawn Of Calamity”, goes back to acoustic a few times, and the album’s closer, “A Reconstruction Of Aeons Obscure”, ends downright gently.

And… that’s all there is to say, really. But for the occasional use of acoustic guitars and switching up vocal styles, this is pretty much standard fare for Melodeath. No major experimentation is occurring, no stops being pulled, there’s no risk and, unfortunately, no reward. DRAGONBREED isn’t doing anything we haven’t already heard, but at least they’re doing a competent job of it.

Even so, competent cannon fodder is still cannon fodder. For every headliner, an opener, and for every opener, a warm-up; DRAGONBREED, for now at least, is the third one. What you get on “Necrohedron” is enough evidence to show that the band can play, but there’s no promise that higher echelons can be reached. Unless and until they can discover some songwriting mojo, we might expect the same material on the next album.

But, at least it probably won’t suck.

Musicianship: 7
Songwriting: 5
Memorability: 5
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. The Undying
2. Summoning The Arcane
3. The World Beyond
4. Sinister Omen
5. Dawn Of Calamity
6. Offerings From Yonder
7. Curse Of The Forlorn
8. A Reconstruction Of Aeons Obscure
Stefani Fiori - vocals
Arkadius Antoik - guitars
Sebastien Jensen - guitars
Christoph Zacharowski - bass
Ken Jentzen - drums
Record Label: MDD Records


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