Astronomy (Dragonland album)

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Astronomy
Astronomy (Dragonland album).jpg
Studio album by Dragonland
Released November 13, 2006 (2006-11-13)
Recorded January - September 2006 at Studio Fredman, Gothenburg, Sweden
Genre Power metal, Progressive metal, Symphonic metal, Melodic death metal
Length 1:00:51
Label Century Media (Europe, North America), King Records (Japan)
Producer Patrik J., Olof Mörck, Henrik Udd
Dragonland chronology
Starfall
(2004)
Astronomy
(2006)
Under The Grey Banner
(2011)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Chronicles of Chaos 8/10 stars[1]

Astronomy is the fourth studio album by Swedish power metal band Dragonland, released in Europe on November 13, 2006 and in North America on November 28, 2006. While their third album Starfall focused heavily on keyboards and had a more upbeat lyrical tone, according to guitarist Olof Mörck, Astronomy is "gloomier, more stygian and packed with crunching guitars; both furiously fast and bone-grindingly heavy."[2]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Supernova"   Olof Mörck 5:09
2. "Cassiopeia" (featuring Elize Ryd, Solo by Marios Ilipoulos of Nightrage) Mörck 4:06
3. "Contact"   Mörck 4:25
4. "Astronomy" (featuring Jake E) Mörck 3:20
5. "Antimatter" (featuring Jimmie Strimmel) Mörck 3:00
6. "The Book of Shadows Part IV: The Scrolls of Geometria Divina"   Mörck 4:04
7. "Beethoven's Nightmare"   Mörck 6:11
8. "Too Late for Sorrow" (featuring Elize Ryd & Jake E) Mörck 3:36
9. "Direction: Perfection" (featuring Jimmie Strimmel) Mörck 4:29
10. "The Old House on the Hill Chapter I: A Death in the Family"   Mörck 4:30
11. "The Old House on the Hill Chapter II: The Thing in the Cellar"   Mörck 3:08
12. "The Old House on the Hill Chapter III: The Ring of Edward Waldon"   Mörck 6:18
13. "Intuition" (TNT Cover, Japanese Bonus Track) Mörck 4:25
14. "The Last Word" (Japanese Bonus Track) Mörck 4:11

Lyrical references[edit]

In a February 2007 interview[3] with Metal Reviews, guitarist Olof Mörck went into details about some of musical and lyrical influences in Astronomy:

  • Olof and Elias Holmlid were inspired to write the "The Old House on the Hill" trilogy by listening to film scores, and they attributed this trilogy to Danny Elfman, probably most famously known for his Tim Burton's Batman theme and the The Simpsons theme. Unlike the "The Book of Shadows" trilogy from the Starfall album which had the story written after the music was composed, the "The Old House on the Hill" trilogy's story was written by Olof, and it took about six months to get the song fully fleshed out and recorded.
  • "Too Late for Sorrow" is a tribute to Harold Faltermeyer, known for his 1986 Top Gun movie score and the "Axel F" electronic theme for Beverly Hills Cop.

As suggested with the album title, many of the songs on the album are based around space subjects:

  • "Supernova" sings about the beauty of an exploding star (supernova).
  • The song "Cassiopeia" tells the tale of Queen Cassiopeia, wife of King Cepheus of the mythological Phoenician realm of Ethiopia, who claimed that both her and her daughter Andromeda were more beautiful than all the Nereids, the nymph-daughters of the sea god Nereus. To avoid the God's wrath, she sacrificed her daughter Andromeda by chaining her to a rock near the water's edge, but the Greek hero Perseus saved Andromeda, soon becoming her husband. Poseidon decided that Cassiopeia didn't deserve to escape punishment for her vainness, so he put her in the heavens as a constellation for all eternity.
  • "Contact" is about first contact with aliens who turn out to be conquerors instead of saviors and destroy mankind.
  • The title track "Astronomy" deals with the power of astronomy.
  • "Antimatter" deals with the exotic properties and mystery of antimatter.

Another point of interest is the song "Beethoven's Nightmare" which intertwines heavy guitar riffs and classical piano melodies to tell the story of Beethoven writing a symphony about a tragedy that is consuming his life, while he laments about being deaf and wishing he could hear a sound "that could open my mind".

Personnel[edit]

  • Jonas Heidgert - vocals (Additional drums on track 7)
  • Olof Mörck - guitars (Additional keyboards on tracks 11 & 12, whispers on track 9, story on tracks 6, 10, 11 & 12)
  • Nicklas Magnusson - guitars
  • Christer Pedersen - bass
  • Elias Holmlid - keyboards, synthesizers (Additional drums on track 11, all drums on track 12, tambourine and shaker on track 8)
  • Jesse Lindskog - drums

Guest Musicians[edit]

  • Jake E (Amaranthe) - vocals on "Astronomy" and "Too Late for Sorrow"
  • Elize Ryd (Amaranthe) - female vocals on "Cassiopeia" and "Too Late for Sorrow"
  • Jimmy Strimmell (Dead by April) - growl vocals on "Antimatter" and "Direction: Perfection"
  • Marios Iliopoulos (Nightrage) - guitar solo on "Cassiopeia"
  • Nils-Arne Holmlid - Intro Speech on "Supernova"

Credits[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Chronicles of Chaos review
  2. ^ Blabbermouth.net. "DRAGONLAND: 'Astronomy' Details Revealed - Oct. 6, 2006". Retrieved 2007-10-28. 
  3. ^ Metal Reviews. "Interview with Dragonland". Archived from the original on 16 October 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-26.