Metal To Infinity

A few days ago, I have ended the 2011 activities on Metal To Infinity webzine posting each co-editor’s favourite album top 20 online (feel free to take a look at it HERE). Watching for my own list you’ll notice a band called Dragonsclaw, originating from Sydney Australia. Guitarist Ben Thomas founded the band in 2007 – inspired by the forces of Progressive Metal, Adagio / Symphony X and Kamelot were some of those troops he was hooked on. Inside the local scene, Ben has been considered as a real guitar god! He could only shows his talents to the outside when he was asked to work along with bands like Australian thrashers Pandivision and as guest solo guitarist on both Empires Of Eden efforts “Reborn In Fire” and “Songs Of War And Vengeance”.  

Natural born Aussie Giles Lavery joined Dragonsclaw as singer and to what I’ve heard on their debut album “Prophecy”, this individual is really awesome!! Each one within the ranks of Dragonsclaw has a good looking musical background history to announce. All of the guys played in other bands / projects before and that’s something became clear as soon as I started to hear the entire “Prophecy” album, I can tell right from the start – this CD is able to bring me in a state of euphoria. 

Officially released on the last days of 2011 through Arkeyn Steel Records, this killer has a lot to offer. If you’re into Traditional Power / Heavy Metal from the US including high pitched vocals – this one is a must have for sure! Also, if Progressive Power Metal music in the vein if Dream Theater or Symphony X can turn you on, “Prophecy” will set your living room on fire. Besides the original Dragonsclaw players, a couple guest musicians such as ex Iron Maiden singer Blaze Bayley and Allessandro Del Vechio (Edge Of Forever, Glenn Hughes, ian Paice, James Labrie, …) came on the collaborate as well and the end result is just fantastic!  

I really don’t know why Dragonsclaw took the decision adding both guys to their roster. I do have a huge respect for all the precious things Bayley and Del Vecchio have done so far for the world of Metal music but to me, it wasn’t very necessary to ask for their collaboration. The original Dragonsclaw members are strong enough to stand their own ground – do you get the picture?!   

Nothing but highlights to me on “Prophecy”, right from the start a song called ‘Darkness Within’ let hear why the name Dragonsclaw stands for. High vocal lines reminiscent to one of my all time favourite frontmen named Alan Techio (Hades, Power, Watchtower, Seven Witches, …), powerplay melodic guitar riffing with world class, shredding solo’s… I’m overwhelmed, yes I am. All the guys in Dragonsclaw are so damn good skilled, it’s hard to find musical defects… let that be clear people! Most of the tracks containing a few keyboard passages and actually I’m not fully satisfied with that. I’ve never been a big fan of this instrument but that’s a pure personal meaning. I like Dragonsclaw most of all while the band plays their stuff in a full power shredding Metal mode so… 

For example a song called ‘Rising Power’ is a superb one to me. It takes me back to the good old late 80s / early nineties US Power Metal period – no further explanation. Also next ‘Rising Power’ is blistering track featuring (as usual) the magnificent guitar wizardry of Ben Thomas and superb ‘high pitched’ vocals of Giles. Due to my honest admiration for the entire Dragonsclaw line up, I won’t shut down this review without spreading nothing but good words about bassist Aaron Thomas (the brother of Ben) and keyboardist Ray Martens. These guys are skilled to the teeth and without them, Dragonsclaw won’t be the same great band anymore.  

The future looks very good for these guys and hopefully the rest of the world will check out the band in a way I did – completely overwhelmed / astonished! Made for all people into Riot, Darkology, Dream Theater / Symphony X, Vauxdvihl, Damien Steele, Heimdall / Rhapsody / Labyrinth, Syris, Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force, Warlord, etc. Order at: www.arkeynsteel.com  Make notice of the fact that Dragonsclaw’s “Prophecy” is the first effort under the label’s new series called Rising Force. Bringing new outstanding, pure Metal bands to the masses seems like a wonderful initiative to me. Arkeyn Steel Records rules! 

My Points: 95 / 100 (Review by Stefan)