"Black Wings of Destiny" (New Media; 2005)

Reviewed by Snidermann

A band's name can either kill a project after just a glance or make the mouth water. Dragonlord: is that one killer name or what?

With "Black Wings of Destiny," Dragonlord strikes lightning twice. The band is on fire with tune after of really great music. "Black Wings of Destiny" has a number of things going for them here: great storytelling ability, crushing metal and amazing musical range. 

"Black Wings of Destiny" is a standout in a sometimes stale musical market. I knew right away that I liked this band, but I will admit it took me a few spins to get a grip on the overall coolness of this CD. Still, never once did I get bored trying to figure where the musical flow was going. In fact, not only did it keep my interest, it surprised me with its intense dedication. 

Dragonlord's "Black Wings of Destiny" gets high scores for originality and high quality intensity.

For more information, check out www.enterthedragonlord.com

"Rapture" (Spitfire; 2001)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

I've never really been a big fan of Testament and they all but dropped off my radar screen when Alex Skolnick left the band. And that was in the late '80s. So it shouldn't come as a big surprise that I didn't really pay much attention when Testament's Eric Peterson was putting together his Dragonlord project. In fact, I avoided any and all news about the band as I figured it wouldn't be of any interest to me. I couldn't have been more wrong.

The hype surrounding Dragonlord was tremendous - of course, most of the hype was fan-based and that's all fine and good, yet sometimes I simply can't believe the hype (and that goes for bands I like, too). However, there are times when the hype is justified - Dragonlord is one of those cases.

The biggest surprise of "Rapture" is how European sounding it is. It is great to see a solo project that doesn't sound like the artist's main band. Much of the darkness and thick sounds of the European and Scandinavian metal styles can be heard in the black metal style that Peterson has been so enamored with over the years while basically remaining true to thrash while playing in Testament.

"Tradition And Fire" shows a strong black metal influence with its violent rhythms - this song would not sound out of place on a Dimmu Borgir record. The title track closes out the CD and is a fitting end to Peterson's black metal side-project.

Keyboards are quite prominent throughout "Rapture," but not quite as integral to Dragonlord's sound as keyboards are in Dimmu Borgir. Make no mistake about it, Eric Peterson's guitars are the driving force for Dragonlord. Peterson also proves to be a decent black metal vocalist that echoes the raspy style of Shagrath of Dimmu Borgir as though he had an American accent. Most of the band members have served time in supporting roles in Testament so familiarity that could have bred a Testament clone is avoided here no doubt due to Peterson's strong vision of what Dragonlord should sound like. 

"Rapture" was produced by Eric Peterson. Although "Rapture" was recorded in Peterson's home city of Oakland, the CD was engineered and mixed in Sweden.

Dragonlord is Eric Peterson on lead vocals and guitar, Steve Smythe on guitars, Steve DiGiorgio on bass, Lyle Livingston on keyboards, and Jon Allen on drums.

For more information visit http://www.enterthedragonlord.com

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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