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Album Reviews : Twilight Force – Heroes Of Mighty Magic

By on August 20, 2016

twilightforce-heroesofmightymagicI’m just going to get this out of the way for now: for anyone that doesn’t already like power metal, this album is not going to convince you otherwise. Sweden’s Twilight Force are one of those gloriously cheesy bands that are designed to appeal directly to the inner fantasy geek in all of us power metal nerds. If you already dig Rhapsody of Fire and Gloryhammer, you’re likely going to love this album. If you can’t stand either of those bands, you’ll just as likely abhor it.

Alright, now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to the adventuring! Speaking of ‘adventuring’, Twilight Force – and I think just as a way to add to their overall cheese factor – label themselves as ‘Adventure Metal’. I have no idea what differentiates them with this term from any of the multitude of other power metal and symphonic power metal bands as Twilight Force honestly don’t differ from the accepted formula whatsoever. I mean, with an album name as wonderfully generic as Heroes of Mighty Magic, it’s not too difficult to ascertain what Twilight Force will have on offer here.

This is as standard as sword-and-sorcery power metal fare can get (at least in terms of the lyrics), and a simple reading of the tracklist will tell you that alone. But that isn’t to say that there isn’t anything to gain from this album. Where this album excelled in particular for me is how seamlessly this album puts me in a joyful mood – almost sickeningly so – and I loved every moment of it.

Twelve songs make up Heroes of Mighty Magic, and from the opening moments of “Battle of Arcane Might”, the overall tone of where this album is headed is well defined. It’s especially in songs such as the light-hearted trinity of tracks, “Flight of the Sapphire Dragon”, “There and Back Again” (a song not at all connected to The Hobbit, just to be clear), and “Rise of a Hero” that demonstrate the (almost, romantic) desire to create light-hearted and heroic songs that conjure the notion of swigging ales and singing tavern songs alongside dwarfish and elvish company in some far-off land.

There is good consistency with this album, and the way in which it has been mixed and mastered is admirable; serving to maintain an airiness and flair to it that is undeniable. One of the better and more unexpected moments comes with the title track of the album, wherein thereabout the midway mark Sabaton‘s Joakim Brodén lends his vocals for a welcomed cameo. A song already wonderfully composed and arranged, Brodén’s appearance adds that extra piece to it that brings it home; complementing well the fine vocals of Chrileon (who reminds me a lot of Tobias Sammet and Fabio Lione in his vocal approach).

Heroes of Mighty Magic is an album that is multi-layered and quite musically complex the deeper you delve into it. Songs such as “To the Stars” – with its fast tempos and quick use of instruments and orchestral arrangements – conjure the notion of something more grand that what merely lies on the surface. Coupled with beautifully constructed narrative moments such as with “Epilogue” (a song that is pure monologuing and of which tells of the six ‘Knights of Twilight’s Might’, who represent the fictional characters portrayed by each member of Twilight Force), the accessibility of the vocals and music make Heroes of Mighty Magic an engaging, if not familiar, album. Whilst not wholly unique and with moments that sound as if they could have been plucked straight from an Avantasia record, there is definitely something to this album that makes it feel distinctly theirs. Managing to avert the pretentiousness of its modern peers (e.g. Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody), whether it is in the arrangements of the symphonies and orchestras, or in how the band utilise each of their individual talents and musicianship (including traditional and classical instruments) to marvellous effect, Twilight Force aren’t a band that can be so simply categorised as “just another power metal band”. And with Heroes of Mighty Magic, they have proven themselves a force in the power metal genre to be regarded.

About

Jonathon is an aspiring fantasy/sci-fi novelist and music journalist. Thanks to the influence of the music he grew up with, he has always possessed a keen interest in metal and rock. He is also a huge fan of mythology, legend, and folklore from all across the world. You should follow him on Twitter.