Words: Shannon-Lee Sloane
Photos: Brandon Shields

After a long and busy week there was nothing else I would rather do than make my way into the valley to see some amazing live music at Brisbane’s home of the heavy, Crowbar. I arrived early to enjoy a few free beers provided to Crowbar Cult members and meet up with friends and some of the bands that were up from Melbourne for the show. The mood was relaxed and the night started slowly but that would change once the doors to the stage downstairs would open and four of the best Power Metal and Viking Metal bands would treat Brisbane fans to a night of fast paced, hard hitting, melodic tunes.

I am a huge fan of our local Brisbane Viking Metal lords, Valhalore and their performance last night was nothing short of brilliant. Front man Lachlan Neate is extremely talented and his energy draws you in from the moment he graces the stage. The beautiful Sophie Christensen on tin whistle and flute brings the most beautiful sweetness to the mix and softens some of the more hard hitting and heavy songs that Valhalore bring us. They played a set that flowed perfectly made up some of their best original songs and included an extremely well delivered cover of The Bard’s Song by Blind Guardian.

Melbourne has so many amazing bands right now that it truly blows me away. I am already aware of many but I just keep discovering more. Espionage are one of Melbourne’s finest examples of an awesome and talented Heavy Metal/Power Metal band. I have been a fan of these guys for some time and it is always a treat to see them play live. With front man and bassist Andrew ‘Frosty’ Morris flicking around his lusciously long blonde locks on stage throughout each performance along with Denis ‘Den Den’ Sudzuka and Matt ‘Matto’Carroll on guitars and one of my favourite drummers  James ‘Shelvo’ Shelverton on drums, they are quite the perfect team. The guys played a tight set including their live debut of their track Wartorn Atrocities. Espionage are always a good time and I can’t wait to see them again.

Next up Melbourne’s Envenomed hit the stage and I found myself a new favourite Melbourne Metal band. I have heard of these guys before but had not seen them play live and they really blew me away. Not only are they talented musicians but they are all also really lovely people. Front man Anthony Mavrikis really impressed me with his vocals, one of the best vocalists fronting a local Melbourne Metal band that I have heard in some time. Their performance was faultless and the stand out for me was their absolutely brilliant cover of Horror Movie by the legendary Skyhooks.

The band we were all waiting for, Sweden’s Symphonic Power Metal Warriors Dragonland took to the stage next with much enthusiastic cheering from their fans. I have been so fortunate to see and review some absolutely amazing and talented bands from all over the world and all of them have been completely brilliant in so many ways. Seeing Dragonland last night was an amazing experience and something I will never forget. Dragonland took me to another place, another realm, another level.

Standing side stage and feeling the energy and magic they create through their music and live performance was like being in a dream state. Jonas Heidgert is a brilliant front man and it is clear to see that he was born to be on stage. Dragonland treated us to an hour long set made up of some of their best tracks including a favourite of mine The Tempest from their album ‘Under The Grey Banner’. I was then transported back to my childhood as they finished the set with the most perfect cover of Neverending Story originally performed by Limahl. This totally made my night and was the perfect ending to what was a magical night of outstanding performances from all four bands. This was the first time Dragonland have toured Australia and I really hope they come back again soon.

Dragonland Set List:

  1. Intro + Shadow of the Mithril Mountains
  2. A Thousand Towers White
  3. Cassiopeia
  4. In Perfect Harmony
  5. The Tempest
  6. Starfall
  7. The Black Mare
  8. Durnir’s Forge
  9. Majesty of the Mithril Mountains
  10. Supernova
  11. Antimatter
  12. Astronomy
  13. Neverending Story
  14. Outro (Ivory Shores)

After performing in Sydney, Canberra and Brisbane, Dragonland play their final gig of the Australian tour tonight at The Croxton Bandroom in Melbourne.

Get your tickets to see Dragonland HERE.