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Holy Dragons - Civilizator

Holy Dragons
Civilizator
by Sammy M at 30 May 2016, 8:47 PM

HOLY DRAGONS, seem out to prove that sticking to your guns and not straying from what you do best, is what’s best for a band. In most cases, I would say that a band needs to change to survive for as long as these heavy metal icons from Kazakhstan have done, however in the case of HOLY DRAGONS and their latest album “Civilizator”, I’m glad that they have stayed true to their roots.

“Civilizator” marks the fourteenth studio album release for the band, so you can be rest assured that these guys are extremely experienced and skilled musicians, which shows through on this album. There’s a large amount of old-school heavy metal cheese throughout the entire album, made even stronger by the fairly recent addition of Alexander Kuligin on vocals (he joined the band in 2014), as he has a strong throwback voice which reminds me very much of legends like Rob Halford who helped pioneer this particular brand of metal. The guitar is intense and complex, the drumming is heavy and energetic, and the bass is fast paced even though it often fades in to the background. All of these men are extremely talented and versatile players, and they showcase this very well on this album.

Scattered throughout the album, are these short tracks that seem to serve as intermissions of a sort, where the acoustic guitar playing take place. Despite the heavy and fast pace of the rest of the album, these are a welcome addition and are extremely beautiful pieces which show off the skill of Jurgen Thunderson and Chris Caine on the guitars. I actually found these to be my favourite parts of the album and they had me seriously hoping for a longer track to serve as a ballad even though I’m not usually drawn to the ballads in metal. They showed how good one could be. Then nearing the end of the album came the song “Emptiness (The Void)” which was very much what I had been hoping for, with emotional verses, sweeping vocals, and a powerful chorus, this is a true heavy metal ballad.

The only real drawback I can find in this album, is that most of the tracks seem to lack a certain amount of passion. This can, however, be overlooked as the lyrics are all meaningful, and the technical skill of the band is extremely high. It’s honestly a shame that HOLY DRAGONS haven’t gotten more of a universal recognition in their 24 years and 14 albums. Fans of classic heavy metal bands like JUDAS PRIEST, IRON MAIDEN, and HELLOWEEN, should definitely check these guys out, and “Civilizator” is a great place for potential new fans to start.

Songwriting: 8/10
Originality: 9/10
Memorability: 7/10
Production: 8/10

Overall Rating: 8/10

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Civilizator
2. Singularity
3. Through the Walls of Lies
4. Bat Bomb
5. My Fear (Litany)
6. Secret Friend
7. No Oil – No War
8. The Long Earth
9. Blossoming Sakura
10. Hawker Hurricane
11. Emptiness (The Void)
12. Stop the War
Lineup:
Alexander Kuligin – Vocals
Jurgen Thunderson – Lead and Acoustic Guitar, Synth, Backing Vocals
Chris Caine  – Lead and Acoustic Guitar, Synth, Backing Vocals
Ivan Manchenko – Bass
Antonio Republo – Drums
Record Label: Pitch Black Records
     


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