KOSMIC DRAGON - The Galactic Hammer
September 15, 2021, a month ago
One for the sci-fi nerds, melding famous films into inspiration for synth-laden, 8-bit computer sounding power metal. They dress in matching "uniforms" (complete with KD insignia) and are fond of blasters/phasers, light sabers and other cos-play props. As a sextet, unlike other bands, they don't dispense with a second guitar, in favor of the keys. Both are present. The most surprising aspect is the strikingly smooth, virtually spoken word delivery of singer Izzy Mortus, although occasionally he does attempt to hit the outer reaches of the vocal galaxy (and, as with pre-release single "Cosmic Rings", allow a gruff counterpoint voice, alongside him).
The "Welcome Aboard" intro sets up the premise: the Kosmic Dragon is a spaceship (Disney-like amusement ride/time machine), as a voice-over explains the rules, parameters and expectations. That is, until a usurping Kraftwerk-inspired ("Autobahn") modulated vox alters course, sending the listener on an unintended journey.
Timely, with the recent passing of Warlord's mastermind/guitarist, as the guitar synth sounds recall William Tsamis' Lordian Guard project, especially "Curse Of Destruction" and "Secret Of Steel". Ode to Godzilla, "King Of The Monsters", reframes the Big Green Guy as a hero (a far cry from his original incarnation, in later movies, saving mankind from other "indestructible" creatures, became a popular theme,). The uncharacteristic mid-section of "Black Science" offers a large expanse (pun intended) of synthesizer driven space music: 60s-70s acid-induced prog freak-out. "Legacy Of Icarus" is a 4:03, otherworldly mind cleansing (numbing?) intermezzo, filled with distant, echoing voices and assortment of whirling sci-fi noises.
Sole electric organ/piano types out an almost Celtic jig, to greet "Astral War", which shape shifts into galloping triplet headbanger, albeit with wayward swaths of synth spinning (seemingly) out of control, throughout. In the last third of the running order, the rock/metal thread unwinds, replaced by spacey New Age. Chaotic and confusing, "Guardians Of Bjorl" is one that doesn't work (also an outlier, compared to its musical neighbors). "Arrival Of The Technobots" is an 85 seconds palette cleanser, featuring mechanization voice amid blips, pops, beeps and whirls, while the closing, all-synthesizer instrumental, "Timeless Spheres", is just ethereal mood music.
A different trip. Glad to go along for the ride, but unsure how many times I'll return.