Dungeon - A Rise To Power

Year of Release: 2003
Label: LMP
Catalog Number: LMP 0306-057
Format: CD
Total Time: 50:20:00

...Wow. After listening to A Rise To Power, the thunderous Australian power group Dungeon has left me with not much to say but ... wow. Actually, I do have more to say, or else this wouldn't be much of a review. But the first thought to penetrate the blissful ruckus surrounding my brain was definitely ...wow.

Pre-released [in] 2002 in Australia by local label Metal Warriors, A Rise To Power is due to be officially released worldwide in June 2003 by LMP. This third full release from Dungeon is definitely one to go the distance and I'd recommend it to anyone. It's chunky, it's impressive, and it's got balls - big bronzed Aussie ones. This is music to keep the neighbours up with and shake the foundations of the house. A lass could get off just on the thumping bassy vibrations coming through the floor. In fact, if anyone ever happens to be at my home, if you hear A Rise To Power a-rocking, don't come a-knocking.

Kidding! Though I did make you wonder, didn't I ...

For much of its length, A Rise To Power is a frenetic, technically astonishing, full-bodied masterpiece. Beginning with the short semi-orchestral introduction "The Prophecy" (which includes some very well-integrated flute from guest artist Kylie Groom), the album starts with an atomic bang, and carries the same energy and force throughout. About the only track that breaks the frantic pace is the soulful instrumental "Life Is Black," a half-time interlude which allows the listener a short breathing space before the tempo picks up again.

The mood reminds me somewhat of earlier Angra material, but with a fuller, richer sound (Dungeon uses wonderfully complex instrumentation, with synthesised and real classical instruments and up to fifteen simultaneous guitar dubs featured on this album). More recently they can be compared to symphonic masters such as Blind Guardian and Helloween. The best track in my mind is "Lost In The Light," which includes some truly blistering musicianship and is a good example of the quality of the full album. About the only number I actually dislike is "Traumatised," a thrashy dark piece with distorted growling vocals and disturbing lyrics. If you can get hold of it, the Australian release of this album also includes two quality bonus tracks, both covers - Iron Maiden's "Wasted Years" and Queensryche's "Queen Of The Reich."

Yes, at times A Rise To Power is a tad pretentious both lyrically and musically, but when the frontman's stage name is Lord Tim, that has to be expected. Overall this is a very solid, exciting release that I'd easily recommend to both established fans and newcomers to Dungeon. Go Aussie power!

Similar to: Blind Guardian, Angra, Helloween

[This review originally appeared May 2003 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]
The Prophecy (2:21) / A Rise To Power (7:05) / Netherlife (Black Roses Die) (6:51) / Insanity's Fall (4:54) / The Other Side (5:42) / Stormchaser (3:22) / Where Madness Hides (4:37) / Lost In The Light (7:37) / Life Is Black (3:46) / The Birth: The Trauma Begins (0:24) / Traumatised (4:22) / A Rise To Power (Reprise) (1:59) (plus a hidden bonus track)

For the AU edition, add: Wasted Years (Iron Maiden) and Queen Of The Reich (Queensryche) -- TOTAL TIME: 61:54

Lord Tim - vocals, guitars, keyboards
Stevo - drums, backing vocals
Dakk - bass, backing vocals
Stu - guitar, backing vocals Guests:

Dale Corney - additional guitar solos
Kylie Groom - flute
Angel-Lee Smit - voices
Alison Amos - voices

Changing Moods (promo) (1995)
Demolition (1996) (Japan only, oop)
Resurrection (1999) (oop)
A Rise To Power (2003)
Rising Power (2003) (ltd ed., AU, NZ, JP only)
Under The Rising Sun (CD + DVD) (2004)
One Step Beyond (2004/2005)
Resurrection (re-recorded) (2005)
The Final Chapter (2006)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin AU

Added: December 12th 2004
Reviewer: Karyn Hamilton
Artist website: www.dungeon.cd/
Hits: 907
Language: english


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