Messiah's Kiss - Dragonheart 3.5/5

Reviewed: 4-27-07


1. The ancient cries
2. Babylon
3. Falcons cry
4. Dragonheart
5. Thunders of the night
6. Steelrider
7. City of angels
8. Nocturnal
9. Northern nights
10. Open fire
11. The ivory gates

A multi-national 4-piece featuring Mike Tirelli on vocals, Georg Kraft on guitars, Wayne Banks on bass, and Eckhard Ostra on drums, Messiah's Kiss presents their 3rd CD with 'Dragonheart'...

The music is for the most part solid, straight-ahead metal a la Tony Martin's Sabbath and Ronnie James Dio, with a dash more power/quasi-shred influence, like Ring of Fire, and, on many tracks, in the range of Metalium and Primal Fear with a more American-sounding singer. However, despite the song titles and Royo artwork, which makes this appear to be pure power metal archetype through and through, songs like "City of angels" and especially "Open fire" verge into the more hard rock/blues spectrum that some of the congregation of Riot/Sabbath/Dio/Yngwie edge towards in certain songs and CDs, and the latter track in particular is none too great.

Singer, Mike Tirelli, of Burning Starr and other bands, makes sure the execution of this style is incredibly solid and well done, as his spot-on performance is the strength of the CD. His vocals throughout are so impressive and engaging. On "Where the falcon's cry", the more emotive lungs of Tirelli practically let you see the spirits of Dio and Tony Martin sitting on his shoulder. "Ivory gates" is one of the strongest standout tracks for the CD, and "Northern nights" is quite good as well.

The guitar work tends to be very full and crunchy in its production, and the bass and drums on a lot of the CD pound away to create a somewhat busy sound, that's not at all bad, but occasionally more melodic leads shine through to better effect.

With the vocals being the best point on the CD, this is quite enjoyable and satisfying, and other than a couple of tracks straying into a style I'm not as crazy about, there are no real complaints. However, none of the songwriting or instrumental work really leaps out and makes this feel like an essential recommendation, though you won't go far wrong with it either.




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