Holy Dragons

Album Title: 
Release Date: 
Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Review Type: 

How many Metal bands do you, dearest reader, know from Kazakhstan (except from those who do live out there)? Honestly, my knowledge about the Heavy Music scene was limited up to three bands, which I did know by name only (I did never hear any of their stuff) (more specific: NEFormat, Requiem and Butchery; the latter, a Death / Grind-act, I did know from having a female vocalist).

But apparently, after some research, it turns out that Kazakhstan has a vivid scene… No, just kidding, actually there aren’t that much bands acting out there; one of the most ‘specialised’ Metal sites (Metal Archives) enlisted less than thirty bands only from that huge country.

This one, Holy Dragons, seems to be one of the oldest and one of the most active ones. They did start in the capital of Almaty somewhere during the nineties and did release more than some hands full of material, which was made available through the internet on worldwide scale, and on CD itself only locally.

The album Zerstörer was originally recorded in 2009 and 2010 (in Almaty) and released via Metalism Records as Zerstörer – The Chapters Of The III World War History Ghost – Part One. Pitch Black Records did sign this act a while ago, and the first result of this collaboration is the re-release of that album, which includes a bonus song. It is the first album with new vocalist Ian Breeg, (formerly) of Hammerforce-fame, whose vocal timbre might remind some to the likes of Halford or King Diamond.

Musically you need to search within that very same direction. Holy Dragons’ Speed / Power / Heavy Metal is of the eighties kind, very rhythmic, melodic, speed-up etc. - think Iron Maiden, Judes Priest, Gamma Ray, Manowar, Accept, Primal Fear, Helloween, Warlock, Mercyful Fate / King Diamond, Black Coffee (the band often refers to this Russian act as main influence, besides the early English and German scene) or Hammerfall. …’True’ Metal if you want to…

Unfortunately it isn’t all that world-shocking. The sound, for example, is much too flat and poorly mixed (vocals do overpower the instrumental basics), there is too little variation, and the whole certainly sounds too cheesy, too over-catching. That’s a pity for this band exists for about two decades (originally under another moniker).

But I certainly won’t mention the word ‘bad’ or ‘inferior’, because I do listen to Zerstörer with pleasure and amusement. Especially the sublime solos are worth mentioning!