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Dragonsclaw - Prophecy 4/5

Reviewed: 4-1-12


1. Darkness within
2. Fight for your life
3. Angels in white
4. Defenders of the skies
5. Prophecy is a lie
6. Life through Anubis’ eyes
7. Rising power
8. Devil’s fiery dance
9. The unknown horizon
10. Revolutionary suicide

As an Aussie, one of my favourite things to do (metal music wise) is come across new and unknown Australian metal bands and expose them to the world in every way possible. Previous discoveries personally include The Day Late, Rincon and Incrypt. However, today’s excellent discovery is a Sydney based traditional/power metal band called Dragonsclaw, who is about to embark on a journey across the tumultuous but rewarding metal seas.

Despite the fact Dragonsclaw is relatively unknown (on the world scale sense); they have certainly made strong moves and intelligent decisions to get them on their way up the metal ladder. Here is where I need to mention another Australian metal band named Paindivision and its connection to Dragonsclaw. Guitarist and founder of Dragonsclaw, Ben Thomas played in Paindivision, which also featured another guitarist, that being the legendary Stu Marshall (ex-Dungeon, Empires of Eden). It was an obvious decision for Thomas to get Stu involved in Dragonsclaw, and as such Stu co-produced the debut CD ‘Prophecy’ and was able to use his connections in the metal world to give an added boost to the release. The added boost was 2 guest vocalists singing on the CD, which include Alessandro Del Vecchio (Edge of Forever, Eden’s Curse) and Blaze Bayley (ex-Wolfsbane/ex-Iron Maiden).

Rounding out the band includes bassist and Ben’s brother, Aaron Thomas, keyboardist Ray Martens and New Zealand born vocalist Giles Lavery. While the drums were programmed for the CD, the band recruited drummer Alcides “Seed” Stowe shortly before the final touches of the release. While he never played during the recording process, he has been credited as the drummer on the CD’s booklet. Singer Giles Lavery is indeed a talented vocalist with a massive set of lungs as he is able to sing the Halford-style high notes with relative ease and comfort. Very melodic with an abundance of range, Lavery’s influences (aside from Judas Priest) also include Iron Maiden, King Diamond, Manowar and also AOR bands such as Journey and Foreigner. Lavery also fronted the Australian Ronnie James Dio tribute show, belting out well known Dio songs that we all know.

Forging traditional heavy metal with melodic power metal, ‘Prophecy’ has that classic traditional metal sound of blistering guitar riffs a la Judas Priest, with the power and melody that you find in melodic power metal. It’s a very catchy style where the chorus’ are memorable, vocals are soaring and the riffs are aplenty. One of the best tracks on the CD is "Life through Anubis' eyes", which starts out with an eerie ancient Egyptian sounding passage and spoken word before vocalist Giles lets out an almighty yell and the thundering double bass and speedy riffs explode into your ears with great purpose and grit. With air guitars out and given a huge workout, the song's chorus is very catchy and very much a sing-a-long moment. Then the guitar and keyboard solos break out and blows everything away and you find yourself hitting the repeat button until it is broken.

“Fight for your life” is another kick-ass standout track, again speedy riffs and chords with a ton of melody and Giles singing high into the stratosphere; confidently holding every note like his life depended on it. With an air raid siren screaming in the background, brings the start of the excellent “Defenders of the skies”, which features Alessandro Del Vecchio in a vocal battle of sorts with Giles. Cracking double bass is present again, to coincide with the melodic guitar blasts and a no holds barred vocal performance from both Lavery and Del Vecchio. I could easily list the whole CD right now in this review, but I’ll hold myself from doing so and not spoil what is a spectacular release from Dragonsclaw. Rounding off the top tracks on offer here, include “Prophecy is a lie”, a bruising hard-edged track featuring Blaze Bayley on vocals, the riffalicious and burning opening track “Darkness within” and lastly the bombastic, catchy and melodic “The unknown horizon”.

If you are a fan of heavy/melodic power metal and love bands like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Jag Panzer, Riot and Crimson Glory, then Dragonsclaw is right up your alley and I strongly urge you to track ‘Prophecy’ down. I commend these guys on such a supreme CD and I wait impatiently for their next offering. You can find these guys on Facebook, just type in their name into the search and that’s it. Well done, gents, you have joined the large brigade of bands, proudly waving the Australian flag for Aussie metal.




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