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Twilight Messenger - The World Below Award winner

Twilight Messenger
The World Below
by Erika Kuenstler at 27 February 2014, 2:22 PM

In general, I do not impressed very easily. But sweet mother of all that is metal, has TWILIGHT MESSENGER managed to blow me away! After many delays, their debut album, originally set to be titled "The Dragonlord" before being renamed “The World Below”, has finally been released. Although initially intended only for digital release, a limited number of CDs are now available thanks to a deal struck between Stormpell records and the band, and with a little help from an Indiegogo kickstarter campaign.

Having garnered some fame by doing Metal covers of famous songs from well-known fantasy movies and series, such as “Over The Misty Mountain Cold” from Lord of the Rings and “Rains Of Castamere” from Game of Thrones, the online collaboration between Juan “The Beast” Rodriguez and Andy Feehan, the man behind THE CLOUDRUNNER, was ready to move on to bigger things. 2012 saw the collaboration morphing into a new project, and after having been joined by Chris Johnson on drums, this trio was ready to bring to life some epic adventures of their own.

Remaining true to Power Metal traditions, the lyrical theme adhered to in this album incorporates motifs of epic battles and great dragons. For few Power Metal bands worth their mettle would even consider not using the word “dragon” in at least one of their song titles, from DRAGONFORCE’s "Heart of a Dragon", to ICED EARTH’s "Dragon's Child", to HAMMERFALL’s "The Dragon Lies Bleeding". And to prove just how serious TWILIGHT MESSENGER is about their Fantasy Metal, they’ve referred to these mighty beasts of the sky no less than three times in their first album alone!

The album “The World Below” has a massively varied sound, not just within the same song, but between songs too, with interesting and odd melodies intertwining the different tracks. From slower, more ballad-like refrains with darker undercurrents like “The Archer, the Battlefield, and The Silhouette”, which has moments reminiscent of IRON MAIDEN’s “The Trooper”, to heavier and faster-paced songs like “Fireball”, to the somber and esoteric melodies contained in the title track “The World Below”, this album has it all. In fact, “Sword and Steel” is what I would imagine AMON AMARTH would sound like if they suddenly started performing Power Metal (assuming of course that the mighty Johan Hegg could somehow hit such high notes). Incorporating elements from other genres, from an almost Pop Rock sound in the title track “The World Below” to a more Stoner Metal feel in “Embers of a New Day”, this album contains a very diversified sound. However, the downside of having such fast-paced variation is that slower and more rhythmically driven songs like “Embers of a New Day” can appear weak and monotonous in comparison.

Overall as an album “The World Below” is very good, but considering that this is just the debut, just the beginning, it is nothing short of excellent, and brings to mind a J. R. R. Tolkien quote: “It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” And I personally can’t wait to see where TWILIGHT MESSENGER sweeps us off to next.

4 Star Rating

1. Twilight Messenger
2. Sword and Steel (By My Axe the Beast Shall Fall)
3. The Archer, The Battlefield, and the Silhouette
4. Fireball
5. The World Below
6. Embers of a New Day
7. The Power of Dragonfire
8. By Wings of Destiny
9. Redemption (Rise of the Golden Dragon)
10. Lord of the Dragons
Juan "The Beast" Rodriguez - Vocals
Chris Johnson - Drums
Andy Feehan - Guitars, Bass
Record Label: Stormspell Records


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