Review TWILIGHT FORCE ‘At the Heart of Wintervale’

It was in 2019 when Twilight Force released their third album to date and three and a half years later the Swedes return with ‘At the Heart of Wintervale’. The band has not changed anything in their basic musical concept and continues to build on fast and very catchy power metal which they themselves describe as ‘adventure metal’.

The new album contains eight songs and still reaches the considerable playing time of almost 45 minutes. It starts with the blazing fast ‘Twilight Force’, a song full of hooks and melodies that immediately get stuck in the mind. The following title track and also ‘Dragonborn’ build on the same basic principle. The latter song, however, is more in a moderate tempo and still offers sugary melodies.

It gets more epic with ‘Highlands oft he Elder Dragon’. The song is with ten minutes playing time one of the two highlights on the album. The second track that exceeds the 10-minute mark is ‘The Last Crystal Bearer’. Both tunes have in addition to the mentioned basic ingredients a cinematic overall expression and one must give Twilight Force credit for the fact that they manage not to let boredom arise at any time. Rather, in ‘Highlands of the Elder Dragon’ even small Queen-like passages appear, while it is tempo, breaks and melodies that characterize this track.

With ‘Sunlight Knight’ the guys push the pedal to the metal while ‘The Sapphire Dragon of Arcane Might is Back Again’ stands out not only because of the long title. Twilight Force are devoting themselves to acoustic sounds at the end of the album, which they provide with a medieval touch.

Well, ‘At the Heart of Wintervale’ is certainly not a bad album, especially since the sound is powerful and dynamic. However, one can’t get rid of the feeling of having heard it all before. And even if the sugar-sweet melodies catch the listener, the album has too few surprising moments. One always guesses what comes next and that reduces the fascination.

Rating: 7 out of 10.

Tracklist:

  1. Twilight Force
  2. At the Heart of Wintervale
  3. Dragonborn
  4. Highlands of the Elder Dragon
  5. Skyknights of Aldaria
  6. A Familiar Memory
  7. Sunlight Knight
  8. The Last Crystal Bearer
  9. The Sapphire Dragon of Arcane Might is Back Again
  10. Skyknights of Aldaria (orchestral version)
  11. The Last Crystal Bearer (orchestral version)

Label: Nuclear Blast Records

Genre: Symphonic Power Metal

Release Date EU: January 20th, 2023

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