Austrian glory metallers Dragony released their fourth album all the way back in January, but we finally managed to squeeze in a review.
Glory metal. Say that out loud a few times just to get a feel of it. Sounds daft, doesn’t it? And maybe even a bit dirty. But it’s what Austrian bombastic power metallers Dragony say they play so we’ll have to make the best out of it. Of course, Dragony sounds just as stupid as glory metal does, so at least there’s a thematic cohesion at work here. The band apparently started out as The Dragonslayer Project, which isn’t a spectacularly good name either so at least Dragony is short and snappy. Now, having mulled over the band name and music description, have a look at the artwork for Viribus Unitis if you will. Here, amongst others, are Nikola Tesla shooting laser beams, Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph in some sort of metallic cyber suit and a demonically possessed Empress Sisi leading a zombie army. You couldn’t make this sort of stuff up even if you tried. Except Dragony did and put the story to the most ridiculously over the top power metal this side of Gloryhammer. If there was a Sounds from the Dark Side Cheese of the Year award, these guys would be netting it without a doubt.
As if the entire premise wasn’t silly enough already, Viribus Unitis starts off with an amped up version of Strauss’ On the Blue Danube, a piece already so incredibly corny that you couldn’t possibly start off an album like this any better. Luckily Gods of War immediately sets the record straight and delivers some premium power metal. The opening riff is meaty, the twin guitar licks as metal as they get and vocalist Siegfried “The Dragonslayer” Samer immediately impresses with an impressive set of pipes. The layer of keyboards draped over the song makes things suitably bombastic and chorus is the proverbial in being so stupidly catchy that you’ll find yourself humming along before it’s over. Other than just being a very good singalong power metal song, Gods of War sets the tone for the rest of Viribus Unitis. Every song is laced with big, epic choirs, sweeping (digital) orchestration and more memorable melodies than you can count.
Dragony does a lot well on Viribus Unitis. The songs are extremely memorable and the very clear production definitely helps here, as every song is packed with not only a metal band, but the choirs and orchestration too. Especially the second half of the album benefits from this as the level of bombast is amped up all the way to eleven starting from A.E.I.O.U. Featuring a guest spot by Serenity and Warkings vocalist Georg Neuhauser, both the keyboard and choirs start to become an even larger part of the musical palette, with songs like the title track and Golden Dawn bordering on the excessive. If you like your power metal to have some actual balls, there is nothing for you to find here; this one’s for the fans of slightly silly, keyboard-laden metal with big pop sensibilities.
At a running time of just under fifty minutes, Viribus Unitis flies by. And whilst I could have done without the less than stellar, unimpressively chugging Darkness Within, there is no bad song on this album unless you count the overly silly Rainhard Fendrich cover Haben Sie Wien schon bei Nacht gesehn? The second half is a bit stronger overall than the first when it comes to anthemic metal songs, but the entire ride is more than enjoyable. If you like your metal poppy, bombastic and silly at the same time, Dragony’s got your back here.
Buy it here: https://napalmrecords.com/english/dragony
- On the Blue Danube (01:23)
- Gods of War (03:36)
- Love You to Death (05:12)
- Magic (03:51)
- Darkness Within (04:29)
- A.E.I.O.U. (04:38)
- Viribus Unitis (03:43)
- Golden Dawn (04:40)
- Made of Metal (Cyberpunk Joseph) (04:29)
- Battle Royale (06:09)
- Legends Never Die (03:43)
- Haben Sie Wien schon bei Nacht gesehn? (Rainhard Fendrich cover) (03:22)
- Herbert Glos – bass
- Frederic Brünner – drums
- Andreas Poppernitsch – guitars
- Siegfried “The Dragonslayer” Samer – vocals
- Simon Saito – guitars
- Manuel Hartleb – keyboards
Review by Ralph Plug