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Dragony – Viribus Unitis Award winner

Dragony
Viribus Unitis
by Jean-François Poulin at 01 March 2021, 8:21 AM

DRAGONY is a Melodic Power Metal band from Vienna, Austria. This is their fourth full-length album and first since 2018’s ‘’Master of Multiverse’’. From 2007 to 2010 they were known as THE DRAGONSLAYER PROJECT but changed their officially in 2010 to DRAGONY. This is the main band of former VISIONS OF ATLANTIS male vocalist Siegfried Samer. Samer worked with VISIONS OF ATLANTIS on ‘’The Deep and the Dark’’ and the following live album but this is his principal band. The band also has current VISIONS OF ATLANTIS bassist Herbert Glos and they are some collaborations with Tommy Johansson, guitarist of the awesome SABATON.

I may or not be a spoiled Power Metal fan. Let's face it I was bombarded by bands and albums in the mid to late nineties. I might not have been the biggest Power Metal fan back them (my older brother was). I discovered so many bands back then and as a Metal fan since 1993, I was not keen on the style and it took me a number of years to truly appreciate some of the bands (lets be honest, not all bands are good). I may have been out of the loop a bit in the last few years in the genre. I have broaden my horizons so to speak and I do listen occasionally to some Power Metal and I do crank my stereo sometimes while listening to some of the classics I grew up with. So that may be one of the reasons why I tend not to be impressed with what is out there nowadays. Like I said, I may have been too spoiled for my own good. Well in this case, I was really surprised by the quality of the material and the musicians at hand.

The title of the album means ‘’With United Forces’’. According to some google searches, it was the official motto of Francis Joseph the first, part of the last emperors of Austria before World War I. DRAGONY decide to go the route of revisionist history and retell the stories of the Joseph family but mixed in with fantasy elements and even some historical figures like Harry Houdini, Nikola Tesla amongst others. I must have skipped that history course when they thought demons, zombies in this alternate timeline. I do remember a series of books of revisionist history back in my college years that were a blast and adding their own spin to a number of marked events in the course of history.

I am a sucker for anything history related, I majored in History in University (but didn’t finish unfortunately) and I enjoy a band that does things in that vein. I have a passion and love for bands like IRON MAIDEN, SABATON amongst countless others that tell the tales of yesterday, from wars to ancient history. In a sense these bands have created the footsteps of history related music and they are like history teachers for the new world. DRAGONY does do it differently adding some steampunk elements to their music and retelling stories of Austria, which we are clueless pretty much in North America.

They literally use classical music a interludes or as opening segments of songs, they start off with ‘’Blue Danube’’ by Johan Strauss and it kicks off the chain of events afterwards. It’s a more orchestra driven album than the previous albums that were more or less Power Metal bangers. You do have your more epic and symphonic metal songs like the title track and ‘’Battle Royale’’ and some songs are straight out of 1990’s European Metal especially ‘’Darkness Within’’, it has that uptempo Power Metal feel about it and it’s pretty groovy to say the least.

Like I said beforehand you have some historical figures thrown in for good measure like Harry Houdini who is the main character in the song ‘’Magic’’, a very keyboard driven Power Metal song and has some tongue-in-cheek lyrics. It sounds like some one of the more positive and uplifting songs from I dare say, HAMMERFALL. It’s a real throwback like ‘’Darkness Within’’ that follows it up on this masterful album. The album opener ‘’Gods of War’’ has that symphonic Metal approach and reminds me the more complex SABATON songs, it has that atypical slow start and bang, when the chorus comes us, well it grabs you by the throat and never lets you go. It feels grandiose and majestic at the same time, it’s very heavy but it’s also quite catchy which is a fine mix.

‘’Legends Never Die’’ has some great lyrics and they have a deeper meeting that previously thought but it’s the most commercial song of the album. It’s quite a departure from the rest but it’s not overly a bad thing, it has that straightforward hook and it’s kind of cheesy but it’s still enjoyable. Some bands have whole albums like that and it’s still a lot of fun and they shouldn’t be knocked for trying something awfully different.

I almost forgot, the production is as good as I heard for a band since the last AVANTASIA album. It was mixed and mastered by Seeb Evermann, the everpresent main honcho of the criminally underrated ORDEN ORGAN. Everything sounds so clear, so crisp and nothing is left unsaid after listening to the album, because you want to start it over just when you finish. It sounds some grandiose like a rock opera for the 21st century, this album is a masterclass in the genre and one of the very best Melodic Power Metal albums of the last decade, a surefire masterpiece!

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. On the Blue Danube
2. Gods of War
3. Love You to Death
4. Magic
5. Darkness Within
6. A.E.I.O.U.
7. Viribus Unitis
8. Golden Dawn
9. Made of Metal (Cyberpunk Joseph)
10. Battle Royale
11. Legends Never Die
12. Haben Sie Wien Schon Bei Nacht Gesehn (Rainhard Fendrich cover)
Lineup:
Andreas Poppernitsch - Guitars
Herbert Glos – Bass
Siegfried ‘’The Dragonslayer’’ Samer - Vocals
Manuel Hartleb - Keyboards
Frederic Brunner – Drums
Simon Saito - Guitars
Record Label: Napalm Records
     


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