Since their release of their debut Tales of Ancient Prophecies in 2014, I have eagerly been waiting for a new release from Twilight Force. A band that knows how to bring you back to the classical power metal roots such as: the beginnings of Helloween, or Rhapsody. And now here it is. “The Heroes of Mighty Magic” are back for a second album:
The album opens with “Battle of Arcane might” and “Powerwind” which follow one another very closely in the song progression with a few exceptions. Both keep the melodious, fast paced guitar riffs and memorable choruses. “Powerwind’s” solo however brings a very Sonata Arctica vibe which fits greatly into the song and makes the magic even greater in the music.
“Guardian of the seas” begins to unveil the beginnings of a fantasy story with anthem like sound. Followed by a song which, although keeping a fast energetic guitar riff, feels more mellow than the last two tracks. The song just like “Powerwind” relies on a very powerful and deep chorus and you cannot help but still constantly feel in a new world of fantasy and beautiful landscapes!
To my big surprise, the following song “Flight of The Sapphire Dragon” opened on a very folk based note which made a really nice change after 3 purely power metal songs. The rest of the song still keeps the powerful choruses and mellower sound of the last 3 tracks. Although the songs so far have not had much change between one another, this folk opening was enough to bring a great smile on my face and make this song one of the tops so far.
Now comes my top song for this album “There and back again”. This song, although coming back to the roots of the previous track with the fast riff and powerful track, has made the choirs more prominent and the sound more dramatic. It even managed to bring a tear of joy to my eye within the first 4 minutes. After the first “part”, an interval of a minute of two composed solely of choirs and synth brings you deeper into the essence of the song until the mellow lyrics are back and slowly drive the song back to its initial sound.
“Riders of the Dawn” is one I like to refer to as the ‘battle song’. The song begins with the sound of a horn and breaks into the great fast paced power music which gives you the feeling of riding into a great battle. The chorus is simple and very memorable and the interval, which is very oriented towards the synthesiser, gives a great sense of power and tension. As a result, this brings you more into the excitement of the run into a battle. Overall a very enjoyable song!
“Keepers of Fate” is a very close second favourite following “There and back again” with a very dramatic tone used within the power styles, the song takes your right by the heart into more mystical than ever. Amazing choirs, a catchy fast riffs, and beautiful and memorable chorus, this song is a delight to listen to times and times again!
“Rise of a Hero” is the cheeriest track of the album, with a very fast synthesiser and even the vocal introduction of a child singer who makes the song nearly feel like a Disney track. The song still keeps a good consistent fast drumming and power chords to bring you back to the Twilight Force vibe and still works great as a whole.
“To the Stars” was the previously released single. At first impression I believed I would greatly dislike this track, the introduction, song structure and guitar and synthesiser begins too similar to “Through the Fire and Flames” by Dragonforce. As I am not a great fan of the band this gave me a slight cringe. But.. as the song progressed, it fortunately drifted back into the magical Twilight Force land and I was invested again in the song as I would be with any others. I should also really mention how memorable and beautiful the chorus is. I really look forward to hearing this played at a live show.
“Heroes of Mighty Magic” is the second longer song of this album and with nearly 10 minutes of power metal to come, much is to be expected. As I had hoped, a lot was given… And even more! The song kept a dramatic tone throughout the verses which gives you this power metal tingling any power fan can relate to. The best surprise of the track however was a guest appearance by Joakim Bróden joining in on the vocals. This brought the song’s dramatic aspect even higher and makes it even more enjoyable to listen to. I’ve been hearing Joakim more and more as guest singer and I’m starting to believe there is nothing he could not make sound even better. Anyway, a great title track with as much power as you can take and brilliant work on the guitar and vocals!
“Epilogue” is actually not a song but a dialogue which narrates the tale behind the “Twilight Force” and adds a nice bit of variety. I would not describe”Knights of Twilight” as a song per say either as its entirety is done through choirs and symphonic music. It is powerful and a beautiful and a good tune to end a mystical adventure on though!
Overall the album is just as great as it can be expected. Powerful fantasy music to bring you right into the power metal land many fans will enjoy. Whilst the songs do not bring a lot of new styles or concepts, I believe it remains great just the way it is.