Twilight Force
Heroes of Mighty Magic

So the second album from Sweden’s Twilight Force was released in August of last year, but its getting some sort of re-release via Germany’s Metalville/Nuclear Blast Archive Records, and I’m glad, because it gives me a chance to unleash my inner nerd and delve into my recent power metal awakening.

Hailing from the same town as Sabaton, comparisons are abound (they have even shared members live and Sabaton’s singer provide guest vocals on “There and Back Again”) but that’s where the similarity ends. Twilight Force is a far less burly, war themed act preferring the wispier, shimmery realms of high fantasy. Imagine Rhapsody (whose Fabio  Leone also makes an appearance) with a +5 cloak of epic (complete with 10 minute songs). These guys definitely rolled a 20 when it came to cheese factor, and at times make Rhapsody look like Jungle Rot, but holy fuck is it fun.

If you could not tell from the cover or song titles like “Flight of the Sapphire Dragon”, “Battle of Arcane Might” and “Powerwind”, this is full on, symphonic as fuck, LARP level power metal and is downright uplifting as all get out. The keyboards are Bal-Sagoth level pomp, and the accompanying  carl orff/carmina burana choir laden choruses are equally as grandiose. While to production is bigger and better then their debut, the guitars are pretty thin, so don’t look for Sabaton or Orden Ogan  levels of heft. This shimmers and glistens with elven stardust and the vocals of Christian Eriksson/Chrileon are equally as delicate and flowery.

Of course, themes of battles, dragons, magic, heroes, etc fill the album, and a nice little track “Epilogue” explains the album and its characters to you at the end of the CD (at least the band dropped the horribly hokey narrations from their debut). But dissecting each track is a disservice, you have all the requisite power metal elements from faster tracks (“Riders of the Dawn”,  damn catchy “To The Stars”) to ballads (“Rise of a Hero”). The standouts are the album two 10 minute numbers “There and Back Again” and the goddamn ridiculously epic title track, good lord are these two epic, rivaling anything from Rhapsody’s first 5 or six cinematic masterpieces.

In the past, I would have never given a band like Twilight Force a second thought, but as I find myself singing along to the likes of “Riders of the Dawn” or Joakim from Sabaton’s part in the title track with a huge grin, I’m glad I’ve given power metal a chance as discovering old bands like Sabaton, Blind Guardian and Freedom Call as well as up coming stars like Brothers of  Metal, Wind Rose and Twilight Force has been a delightful, guilty pleasure.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
July 7th, 2017

Comments

  1. Commented by: Jay

    Digging what I hear here. There’s a few power metal bands that I love and a lot I’ve heard that I need to revisit. It’s been high time I hear some new ones and this was a great one to start on.

    I’ll be back on FB soon (I’m a little erratic with social medial when life gets crazy but I always come back), but Erik have you ever jammed any Masterplan? Thought this song and entire album was really damn catchy;

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sH1Gjd82Clk


  2. Commented by: Grindymcgrinder

    I literally just threw up in my mouth listening to this garbage….


  3. Commented by: Juan Manuel Pinto

    You threw up in your mouth? You should have opened it. Never thought anyone would need instructions on how to vomit properly.


  4. Commented by: Red

    Nice review…I’m real picky about my power metal, the majority of it doesn’t do much for me. I loved the line, “at times make Rhapsody look like Jungle Rot”. Haha!! that was all I needed to hear to know that this wasn’t for me.


  5. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    This band is a hilarious treat. I mostly don’t listen to power metal, but they’re so goddamn committed to their little LARP fantasy. it’s so earnest.


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