Dungeon (Aus) - A rise to power 2.5/5

Reviewed: 7-25-03


1. The prophecy
2. A rise to power
3. Netherlife (Black roses die)
4. Insanity's fall
5. The other side
6. Stormchaser
7. Where madness hides
8. Lost in the light
9. Life is black
10. The birth: The trauma begins
11. Traumatised
12. A rise to power (reprise)

Australia's favored power metal sons (hmmm... maybe with the latest Pegazus's awesome pure 80s metal havoc, co-favored) released a devastating first CD in 'Resurrection', whose title track was pure metal bliss, and included a majestic and awesome version of the Dragonlance inspired "Legend of huma" from their debut. This successor does not disappoint, driving out pure melodic power metal, but in a style that I see as much more American/English than European, although they definitely cite the usual European suspects as their influences as well. Elements of Nocturnal Rites' 'Afterlife' as well in the general style. One of these elements is the absence of keyboards and the prominence of guitars, the way a heavy metal CD should be, including lots of great melodic lines, riffs, leads, and solos that sizzle.

The opening title track sets off in fine, inspirational, battle glory fashion, much like "Resurrection day", albeit not quite as fast, but with a memorable and anthemic chorus. The whole CD has a sharp but majestic feel to it which is very good, tremendous melodies and songs. The Gothenburgish harsh vocals on the verses of "Traumatised" is a bit jarring, but on part of one song it doesn't really bother me. While the CD is generally pretty fast, say 4th gear, it feels like it never quite hits the highest points that the predecessor did, nonetheless, it is consistently good throughout. Perhaps most pleasing as a surprise though, is that another fun gem of their demo, their cover of "Queen of the reich", finally appears on CD in this album, as a hidden track, and I was thrilled to hear this.




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