Review: Dragony – Masters of the Multiverse
By Todd Naevestad
I love listening to other people geek out about things they love. Friends going on about comics they like; coworkers ranting about a movie; get me talking about video games and I’ll talk your ear off. People embracing their nerdy passions is something I can always respect. Which brings me to Dragony and how they wear their influences on their sleeve. I found them initially because they had a song called “Lords of the Hunt” which takes inspiration from one of my favorite games, Bloodborne. I kept up with them and was looking forward to their next album. Which brings us to Masters of the Multiverse. Their new album is a love letter to pop culture.
Dragony is a power metal band that seems to embrace the fantasy association that the music comes with. When I say their proud of their influences, what I’m really saying is that almost every song on this album is inspired by some specific pop culture icon. If my research is right then, in album order, we have The Wheel of Time (“Flame of Tar Valon”), Predator (“If It Bleeds We Can Kill It”), Dragon Age (“Grey Wardens”), Diablo (“Fallen Star”), Neon Genesis Evangelion (“Angels on Neon Wings”), Secrets of Evermore (“Evermore”), Game of Thrones (“The Iron Price”), and He-Man (“Eternia Eternal), including two that I believe to be without a specific franchise inspiration, but don’t quote me on that. While each series is vastly different, Dragony manages to blend their lighter sound with each series’ atmosphere to make songs that are faithful and respectful to their inspiration while still a wholly unique work. A big part of that is how clever the lyrics can be. It never bashes you over the head with their source material. Even some of the series that I knew well I didn’t pick up on until I read through the lyrics more closely. The writing is creative and never feels forced to fit the music, or vice versa. They really pull you into this fantasy of Heavy Metal Warriors traveling through the multiverse.
Something that makes the album so enjoyable is the big sound they pull together. Each song incorporates clear elements of vocals, guitar, and drums, all on top of an orchestra like backing that expands the music so much more. There’s a depth in each song, with layers that you can listen for. I mentioned this in my review for Visions of Atlantis, but lead singer Siegfried Samer’s voice has a lot of power and grandeur in it. His style is a vehicle for the ramping energy that each song seems to follow. Songs begin at a fairly energetic point and continue to build. It’s great music to get the blood flowing. The fact that there is usually some kind of guitar solo doesn’t hurt either. There is a delightful cheesiness to the music. The album as a whole gives a kind of Saturday morning cartoon vibe; comfortable like when I was a kid. It never comes across as anything other than an earnest and authentic appreciation for both the music they’re making and the material they draw from.
While I really enjoy the album, there’s more that Dragony could have done to make it truly shine. There’s a lot of different styles on display, but they come across as subtle variations on their entrenched style. This was a chance to really try something new. A song like “If It Bleeds We Can Kill It” have a tinge of 80’s style in it, using some synths and the like, but for such an action heavy series, it’s one of the cheeriest songs in terms of musical texture. With “Angels on Neon Wings” they could have done more with the futuristic setting offered to them and maybe incorporated some of the darker themes. The consistency in the album is laudable, but it also leads to some songs having less impact. It’s almost a fifty-fifty split between songs that I find myself humming the lyrics to and tracks that I liked, but couldn’t recall much about the content. I want to see the rest of the album get the same mirror shine of polish that the singles got. On the whole, it’s great, but it’s missing that elusive element to make it astounding. Also, I feel personally insulted as their cover of Stan Bush’s “The Touch” is a physical CD exclusive and I feel like I’m missing out on an amazing track.
If we could all talk about our passions so openly, I think the world might be a better place. Until that day comes, however, we can still enjoy some heart-filled power metal. Masters of the Multiverse is a fun, campy, musically adept album that is worth the listen. Whenever I’m in the mood for something easy to listen to but that still connects with me, this has been an album I’ve turned to of late. It’s well worth my recommendation and your time.
Rating: 4 out of 5
Recommendations: Kalidia, Amberian Dawn, Victorius