Title: “Black Wings Of Destiny”
Label: Escapi Music
Release Date: 10/25/2005
Genre: Black Metal
Testament’s Eric Peterson is a Metal heavyweight on his own due to numerous contributions to the genre with that legendary Bay Area band. Steve Smyth is also someone who continually raises the bar on what guitarists are able to do in his band Nevermore and recently the two have shown just how wide the scope of Metal delivery can be. Hot off the heels of the original lineup reunions of Testament and touring for Nevermore’s incredible release “This Godless Endeavor” the pair bring us the mighty Dragonlord. Knowing these musicians past in the Power and Traditional genres of Metal led me to anticipate something similar to what I already knew. I had no idea that it would be a journey down the roads of Black Metal and that I would enjoy it as much as I ended up doing. At a number of points the group mirrors what one can expect in the recent material by Norway’s Dimmu Borgir and that is due to Peterson’s growl reminding me so much of Shagrath himself. Certain musical runs also hold in kind to what the Dark Norse Gods have brought to the table, but with them being one of the top acts in that form it was a welcome sound to find on this release. There are some Symphonic elements due to the keyboards and as a result Dragonlord shows not only the love of Black styling’s but inside the music a little deeper is a profound level of musicianship that shows a wider range than some others might showcase. It is a tight quartet who does not seem to lose any momentum as the record plays through. Joining Peterson and Smith is Derek Ramirez (bass), Lyle Livingston (keyboards) and Jon Allen (drums). There is such a great display of their abilities in these songs that makes them appear to be a good live lineup or at least interesting to watch in concert.
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