DRAGONHAMMER Album Review: “Second Life”

“Second Life”
Album Review by Iron Mathew


DragonhammeR are a power metal band from Italy formed in 1999, releasing five albums to date – ‘The Blood Of The Dragon’ (2001), ‘Time For Expiation’ (2004), ‘The X Experiment’ (2013), ‘Obscurity’ (2017), and ‘Second Life’, released in 2022…

…featuring eleven songs over a speedy – and highly emphatic – fifty four minutes! The band have endured a couple of major line-up changes throughout their two decade career, with the new album heralding the bands “second life” – thankfully retaining the fast paced, melodic and epic power metal style that has become their forte. In terms of sound, think a blend of DragonForce, Sabaton and a host of symphonic metal bands – DragonhammeR breathing life into the new album via the cinematic intro ‘Prelude To Conquest’, immediately followed by the high velocity ‘Kingdom Of The Ghosts’ – armed with a pace that’s gonna challenge (the aforementioned) DragonForce for the “kings of extreme speed metal” crown, the band forging a devastating path across the land leaving only scorch marks in their wake!

What an absolutely blistering start to the album – one that now takes a more cinematic approach in the shape of ‘Diamond Of Peace’, adopting a more mid tempo mid paced anthemic march. The band – in full flight for the albums opener – are now in majestic mode, ‘Diamond Of Peace’ a stark contrast to ‘Kingdom Of The Ghosts’. But worry not dear readers, speed makes an emphatic return in the mighty shape of the six and a half minutes plus ‘Into The Warrior’s Mind’ – a fast paced gallop of traditional “foot on the monitor” heavy metal with power and symphonic metal overtures. Oh boy the mosh pits are gonna love this one! Symphonic metal nuances come to the fore as ‘Shattering Hope’ foot stomps into life and marches on with a mid tempo melodic power metal attitude – DragonhammeR maintaining the infectious intensity they began the album with.

Although all intensity is dropped in favour of hymn-like serenity for ‘Fallen Brother’ – a mid paced swagger of balladry and epic anthemic inflections. DragonhammeR showing a different side to their speedy power metal roots will have fans and followers raising their arms high in the air to salute a magnificent rousing anthem. Electrifying speed blazes back into sight as ‘Sickness Divine’ gets underway, the band dropping a gear as the song motors on at the classic pace of European power metal. The wide ranging speed of this album is beginning to make me think DragonForce’s crown is safe – especially when the band re-enter hymn-like territory, with ‘The Rising’ portraying a very strong power ballad atmosphere. Time to get your lighters out, hold them aloft and sway from side to side.

The emphatic and epic glory style of metal makes an appearance as ‘Silver Feathers’ resumes the iconic gallop of traditional heavy metal heard earlier, accelerating to a very quick pace and continuing to change gears across its entire (near) six minutes run time. ‘Second Life’ (the album) displays a range of speeds that need more than just the normal five gears of most vehicles, the band showing more variation than a colour chart for wall paint! The title song ‘Second Life’ is the most melodious and infectious song on offer, chiming in at over six minutes in length, and keeping the listener engaged from start to finish. And that mid song breakdown to introduce a spoken word passage – just wow! DragonhammeR bring their fifth album to an end with the instrumental ‘Ending Legacy’, provoking a feel of a warm down soundtrack after a vigorous workout. And to be fair, ‘Second Life’ (the album) has been a workout, just not quite the vigorous one I was expecting.

Overall, a majestic swagger of melodic power metal with bursts of speed and passages of highly cinematic mastery.


Prelude To Conquest
Kingdom Of The Ghosts
Diamond Of Peace
Into The Warrior’s Mind
Shattering Hope
Fallen Brother
Sickness Divine
The Rising
Silver Feathers
Second Life
Ending Legacy


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