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Dragonsclaw: Dragonsclaw
Dragonsclaw 2012 review

Dragonsclaw: Dragonsclaw

Heavy/Power Metal

It's been a good year for traditional heavy metal, and we end well with the debut release from Australia's Dragonsclaw. Conceived by Paindivision guitarist Ben Thomas, the band takes an aggressive, even epic, approach to classic heavy and power metal. Thomas is joined by his brother Aaron on bass, Ray Martens (Paindivision, Shock Therapy, Scoundrel et al) on keyboards, and New Zealand vocalist Giles Lavery, who recently has been tapped for the Australian Ronnie James Dio Tribute Show. To further align the stars more correctly, Blaze Bayley (Iron Maiden, Wolfsbane) and Allessandro Del Vecchio (Edge of Forever, Eden's Curse, James Labrie, et al) make guest vocal appearances. Production is covered by guitarist Stu Marshall (Empires of Eden).

This debut is a well-rounded package of heavy, very often fast, power metal. You get this from the start with blistering Darkness Within, Fight for Your Life, and the later, Defenders of the Sky, as examples. Not vacating the speed so much, Dragonsclaw can deliver more epic heavy metal with Prophecy Is a Lie or the longer closing track, Revolutionary Suicide, with nice duel between keys and guitar. Frankly, these are the best tracks, and seem to show some better versatility. Otherwise, this album could be reduced to a speed metalfest, showcasing Ben Thomas's neo-classical guitar licks and Lavery soaring vocals. Lavery metal style borders on operatic, reminding of a cross between James Rivera (Seven Witches) and Sean Peck (Cage). His strength and stamina are immense; his vocal range impressive. However, on this album, the knob seems to be set mostly to 'screamo.'

Nevertheless, Dragonsclaw's debut is a well-conceived and bombastic platter of speedy power metal. You might think its 1985 again. Recommended.

In Short

Dragonsclaw's debut is a well-conceived and bombastic platter of speedy power metal. You might think its 1985 again.

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