Freitag, 30. Dezember 2022

An epic return!

[ Logo: Gaetano Amodio & Max Aguzzi ]

Base: Rome • Italy
Genre: Melodic Power Metal
Title: Second Life
FFO: Stratovarius, Freedom Call, Rhapsody Of Fire
Format: Album
Label: My Kingdom Music
Distro: Plastichead
Release: Nov. 04, 2022

⚡DRAGONHAMMER are available for interviews via phone, Skype, Zoom & email !

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• Their long awaited return with the 5ᵗʰ studio album
• Epic, precisely & catchy Melodic Power Metal
• Powerful & determined – renewed songwriting & sound
[ Official Lyric Video by Stefano Mastronicola ]

DRAGONHAMMER are one of the pillars of the Italian MELODIC POWER METAL scene, a band that marks the history of this music from 20 years.

[ Artwork: Luca Martinotti/SoloMacello ]

01. Prelude To Conquest 01:29
02. Kingdom Of The Ghosts 04:53
03. Diamond Of Peace 04:49
04. Into The Warrior’s Mind 06:55
05. Shattering Hope 05:40
06. Fallen Brother 04:39
07. Sickness Divine 04:43
08. The Rising 04:35
09. Silver Feathers 06:04
10. Second Life 06:35
11. Ending Legacy 05:10

total: 55:32 min.

With the new album „Second Life“DRAGONHAMMER open a new chapter giving a turn to their music, that is now more powerful, more epic and technically as sublime as it was in the past.

It is the evolution of the band’s way of creating music, renewed in sound and formation. Among the new characteristics of this work, the addition of new vocal elements, more symphonic keyboards and more powerful guitars stand out.

[ Pic: Giacomo Mearelli ]

Mattia Fagiolo • Vocals
Flavio Cicconi • Guitars
Alessandro Mancini • Guitars, Orchestrations
Gae Amodio • Bass
Giulio Cattivera • Keyboards, Backing Vocals, Orchestrations, Choir Vocals
Marco Berrettoni • Drums

„Second Life“ stands for an album that opens up new visions for the future and wants to be the starting point of this new identity. So definitely you’ll get an explosive mix of Power and Epic Metal with great Symphonic parts!
[ Official Lyric Video by Stefano Mastronicola ]

„Second Life“
 sees the official studio debuts of Mattia Fagiolo on vocals, Marco Berrettoni on drums, and Alessandro Mancini on guitar.

„Second Life“ is the first album without Max Aguzzi, one of the two historic founders of the band in 1999, who was also crucial for the artistic side of the band. Therefore, this album also represents a new way of making music for the band, which has found a way to regroup and continue on its path.

„Second Life“ is an album that incorporates all the stylistic characteristics of DRAGONHAMMER but evolves them with a fresher sound and a more advanced songwriting. It is a Power Metal album that, compared to the past, has a strong symphonic character and new vocal styles. The production was entrusted to the Kick Recording Studio in Rome (Italy).

About the lyrics, „Second Life“ tells a timeless story, where the thoughts and feelings of the men of yesterday flow to the present day. A story that, song by song, tells the evolution of a character from the past, delivering to the listener a set of experiences and considerations.

The key message is the one of the band’s literally „Second Life“:
a moment in which they are granted a second chance and become aware of what is really important!


90 / 100
➤ „… fantastic backdrop of orchestral magic … a gargantuan album of Power Metal to its core … symphonic power is what really makes ‘Second Life’ come to life … have all the hallmarks of fellow Italians Rhapsody, but also Blind Guardian and Twilight Force with their rapid-fire guitars, rhythmically thumping drums driving forward like caterpillar treads on a tank and a superb vocal performance from Mattia Fagiolo making this release really something special … this is classic European Power Metal done to a professionally high standard and any fan of the genre should invest in a copy …“
(Metal Digest)

9 / 10
➤ „… DRAGONHAMMER decided to go big for this album … the orchestration is exquisite, the rhythms are excellent and the guitar work is incredible … vocally, they hit all the hallmarks of Power Metal … powerful leads, big backing vocals and huge choirs to give a massive backdrop for the soaring musical themes. This is an album you can picture in your mind, complete with soundtrack, score, and action scenes …“
(Metal Temple)

4 / 5
➤ „… returned a bit more to their fantasy inspired style … epic atmosphere … a classic kind of Euro Power Metal … a bit more orchestration and symphonic elements this time … we get to hear the sounds of strings, lutes and flutes adding a bit of a medieval flair … songs surge along with a nice sense of velocity, many of them double-kick driven … lots of great solos, the one on ‘Sickness Divine’ being a favourite for me … it would be a shame for fans of the style to overlook this band … ‘Second Life’, being a strong album maybe give them just that, the second chance they need to break through …“
(Metal-Rules COM)

8,9 / 10
➤ „… in the 1990s, this record would probably have won the favour of many … ‚Second Life‘ is not just a record for nostalgics, but a mature, well-constructed and equally well-played work that will surely provide moments of joy for lovers …“
(Heavy Metal Webzine IT)

17 / 20
➤ „… filled with fantastic epic atmospheres and an accomplished phantasmagoria ‚Second Life‘ will only meet the approval of the public … I just hope that this work meets a wider audience. In any case all the trumps have been shot to succeed in this enterprise …“

8,5 / 10
➤ „… action-packed Power Metal … ‚Second Life‘ is just fun and didn’t bore me even on the umpteenth ‚repeat‘, you always discover new nuances … I really like Mattia Fagiolos‘ voice … drummer Marco Berrettoni totally inspires me … a round thing and in this compilation hopefully really a second life for the band …“
(Powermetal DE)

8,5 / 10
➤ „… especially worth mentioning is the powerful-precise drumming of drummer Marco Berrettoni … know their craft … combine dynamic hardness factor with opulent, suspenseful captivating mood level – exactly what it comes down to in Classic Melodic Power Metal … recommendable … for the followers of Majestica, Stratovarius, Freedom Call and Rhapsody Of Fire …“

81 / 100
➤ „… adorable …“
(Hatena Blog)

8 / 10
➤ „… great keyboards merge with vigorous riffs and excellent solos … 55 minutes of a good experience …“
(Riff Of Metal)

8 / 10
➤ „… another great work to their already lush discography … does not afford a single weak song and convinces with individual highlights, such as the incredibly great ‚Kingdom Of The Ghosts‘, which should bring tears of joy to the eyes of every genre fan.“

8 / 10
➤ „… nicely balanced, energetic and despite the rather classic Power Metal quite fresh … if you want to remember classic Power Metal, DRAGONHAMMER and its ‚Second Life‘ is a great way to go. People who adore the genre and don’t like novelty might also find it to their liking. The tempo and melody changes are a bonus of the album.“

16 / 20
➤ „… the new member Mattia Fagiolo delivers a performance that will please those who prefer singers who are not only in the high notes … guitar lovers will find many typically neo-classical solos … I was pleasantly surprised and believe that any Power Metal lover will be more than thrilled …“
(French Metal)

7,5 / 10
➤ „… a successful rebirth … melodies are by no means presented too briefly … quite racy in places … pull out all the stops …“

7,5 / 10
➤ „… finally again a work full of fast, European Power Metal and then also from one of the mother countries of this genre, Italy … naturally I like the speedy Power Metal stompers like `Kingdom Of The Ghosts‘ or `Into The Warrior’s Mind‘ best, but DRAGONHAMMER also know how to integrate now and then skillfully epic and symphonic elements into their sound … well-dosed synths, great vocals … choirs and a pinch of pathos … majestic-hymnal … best, coherent and entertaining Power Metal entertainment …“

7,5 / 10
➤ „… preference for high-speed anthems with plenty of double bass … lightning fingers … broad-based choruses … the whole thing does not seem as overloaded as with Rhapsody, because the synth debauchery is kept within limits and fits comfortably into the overall structure … epic … everything is performed very catchy and ear-pleasing, but without crossing the border to sugar shock … DRAGONHAMMER have found their own band style for themselves in certain ways …“

7,5 / 10
➤ „… Power Metal, arrangements full of ideas, orchestrations, pathos and a lot of passion … yes, perhaps the ’second life‘ of DRAGONHAMMER starts here and I must admit in the best way …“

7 / 10
➤ „… approaches the sounds typical of Rhapsody – and in general of the great tradition of Symphonic Metal of the 90s – without, of course, forgetting the ballads … a journey, yes, into the clichés of the genre, but realised with all care and attention, also thanks to the excellent work of Marco ‚Cinghio‘ Mastrobuono in the studio, who has brought this ‚Second Life‘ straight to the point … true resurrection of a band … a good album … written with care and passion …“

7 / 10
➤ „… da wird mächtig Dampf gemacht … die Jungs sind spielerisch sehr begabt … der Sänger ist in einigen Bereichen mit seiner Stimme unterwegs, die so manch anderem verwehrt bleiben. Auch dem Schlagzeuger muss man allerbeste Qualität attestieren. Von Anfang bis Ende zeigt er keine Müdigkeit, fällt durch ein beständig gutes Drumming positiv auf. Einmal beim Lob austeilen, möchte ich auch nicht die Leistung an den Gitarren vergessen … für Vinyl spricht das exzellente Cover-Artwork, das dann erst richtig zur Geltung kommen würde … für Power Metal-Freunde empfehlenswert.“

3,5 / 5 – great
➤ „… deserve to be more well known. They can write on the same level as big name bands – even better in some cases. Lots of bands peeter out and resort to Eurovision Metal, but such is not the case here. DRAGONHAMMER know exactly who they are and how to present themselves professionally within their cheesy, yet effective motifs … if you come across this album don’t skip it … it’s at the very least a great one-time listen, though it deserves another listen to let the songs sink in …“
(Sputnik Music)

3,5 / 5
➤ „… the catchiness has definitely improved, then there is the focus on melodies, thanks to clever guitar and keyboard solos and many epic choruses … the drums are very crisp … the new singer Mattia Fagiolo is much better suited to Power Metal than his predecessor … this ‚Second life‘ constitutes a sort of rebirth of DRAGONHAMMER; now all that remains is to continue on this road and improve even more, since the qualities and talent are not lacking!“
(All Around Metal)

➤ „… more powerful, more epic and more symphonic than ever …“
(Metal Utopia)

➤ „… Giulio Cattivera‘s keyboard orchestrations are always on point, and never cheesy, whilst the engine room – piston-legged drummer Marco Berrettoni and bass-playing pal Gae Amodio – play their part unobtrusively but with deathless precision … cinematic … if your’e a fan of this kind of music then there’s very little here that you won’t enjoy …“
(Sentinel Daily)

➤ „… an album that opens new horizons for the future of the band and wants to be the basis of this new identity that the band wants to adopt. So you will definitely get to listen to an explosive mix of Power and Epic Metal with great symphonic parts …“
(LifeSteps GR)

➤ „… there is no lack of energy here … fast and melodic riffs, clean and high vocals, catchy and epic themes, etc. … fans of the style will be well entertained …“

➤ „… more epic, more symphonic, and more… well, everything … delivers 11 bangers crammed to the rafters with all the speed, gallantry and majesty anyone would very much hope to get barraged with when faced with an album cover that features bearded dudes throwing down against an immense black dragon … pretty much a win from most every angle, but new vocalist Mattia Fagiolo is the definitely the not-so-secret weapon delivering the death blow that vaults things over the edge … if you like the idea of kicking your day into full gear with a more raw form of Rhapsody, you will definitely find a very willing and well-armed companion with this record …“
(Last Rites)

➤ „… another brilliant and beautifully crafted dose of Power Metal as only boot-shaped land can achieve (well, maybe they don’t use the symphonic pageantry that since Skylark and Rhapsody gets used to it there, but they develop their art very well, let no one doubt it) …  recommendable …“
(The Dark Melody)

➤ „… a beautiful Power Prog Metal album, where all the human emotions were not lacking …“
(Tempi Duri)

➤ „… an epic journey that will make you sing along from beginning to end … with a great melodic structure, brutal riffs, a dynamic and versatile base … impressive vocals …“
(Metal Pedia)

➤ „… vocals are good … very tasteful … the orchestration and the arrangements on this album are absolutely killer and worth a listen alone … songwriting is really top-notch … the years of practice and maturity really shine through … quite long at 54 minutes, but it never feels like it drags or stumbles and the runtime goes by very quickly … DRAGONHAMMER have really put together a good album and if you’re someone who appreciates Power Metal, then I highly recommend you give this one a listen …“

➤ „… everything fans would expect from a Power Metal band … it’s strong, it’s emotional, it’s full of details … bottomline, it’s perfect …“
(Metal Addicts)

2001 • The Blood Of The Dragon • Full-length
2004 • Time for Expiation • Full-length
2013 • The X Experiment • Full-length
2017 • Obscurity • Full-length
2022 • Second Life • Full-length

[ Monogram: Dario Petrilli ]

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METAL MESSAGE ᴳᴸᴼᴮᴬᴸ • Est. 2001 - Bull's Eye for passion & professionalism ! Multiple five-star rated PR Agency that works professionally and reliably with numerous partners in the worldwide music media. Many years of experience in various musical fields provide the basis for individual and efficient service. Main task area besides communications for global Public Relations are integrated promotion campaigns across print, online and broadcasting, as well as marketing, artist management, consulting and mentoring. Just like an exquisite manufactory - where passion meets profession!