It’s possible, within in the grand Metal scheme of things, it strikes me that there is no such thing as a one hundred percent serious Symphonic Power Metal Band. They are 100% committed, don’t get me wrong, I’m talking about their…attitude – compared with other Metal genres particularly – but that’s part of the appeal. That optimism, energy and lightness-of-heart that many Symphonic Power Metal bands possess is an important part of the whole ethos they have. But then, with that in mind, it can also be said that there are some Symphonic Power Metal bands that are more seriously minded than others, therefore there are some that border on…well, a bit…“out there”. And no sugar-coating it, Twilight Force are as barking as they come – resplendent in coloured hooded capes and sporting fantastical pseudonyms (which does leave me wondering why exactly many of the members are trying to hide their true identity…they are mostly all in other Metal bands…hmmm, must be a contractual thing, yes, I’m sure that’s it!). Just have a blast of 2016’s “Heroes Of Mighty Magic” for further proof, which I did – I even reviewed it at the time, and found it to be one of the daftest, most insane, manic and flamboyant albums of the year. I’ve played it a few times since…and it still is. But now it’s time for their new opus, and I find myself looking forward to it. It takes all sorts…

And Dragons! Generally, the more flamboyant the Symphonic Power Metal band is, the more dragons seem to be in evidence. If there’s a dragon on the cover, you generally know what to expect and Twilight Force once more throw themselves headlong into the whole fantastical concept – after all, the Twilight Kingdom (yes, it’s a place) is rife with the scaly fire-breathing buggers so the Knights of Twilight’s Might (yes, that’s what they’re called) are often needed to…well…do their knightly thing. Look, read the lyrics, I’m sure it’ll make perfect sense. But the thing is, all this picture-painting and escapism fits perfectly with the music. Once more we are treated to a whole raft of optimistic, up-beat and bombastic tunes which deliver varying degrees of choral catchiness (let’s call it that, rather than cheesiness). But if you’ve got this far through the review, that’s what you want isn’t it? Hell, It’s what we all want – From Rhapsody to Freedom Call via 80’s Helloween, it’s all delivered as you would hope for, and always, ALWAYS with total conviction and dedication to the Twilight Force cause.

The only particular difference existing fans will notice is the introduction of new vocalist Allyon (real name Warbly Highnote…no, sorry, it isn’t really…but it could have been!), who does a damn fine job on his first outing, taking the vocals more in his own direction, possessing a similar range to his predecessor, but coming across somewhere between Andre Matos and Fabio Lione (in their more exuberant early days maybe) and it all works very well indeed. Look, there’s no point in picking tracks out, delving into the musicality or over-analyzing the arrangements and wonderful orchestration – basically if you like your Symphonic Power Metal to be full of bombastic energy and transport you to undiscovered mythical realms then flag down your nearest dragon, hop aboard and join Twilight Force in their adventures. Or alternatively, we could just sit in a cold, dark room watching the rain trickle down the window? Hmmm…WAIT! Book me a seat on the Dragonstar! (I’m presuming it’s like the Eurostar, but less punctual and has a large smoking area?).

(8/10 Andy Barker)