Dracula: Swing of Death, a concept album devoted to telling the tale of the legendary vampire, Count Dracula, is nothing short of stunning. For the most part, concept albums are not my thing and I never thought I would ever hear myself utter those words, but from the disc’s opening notes I was thrust into the story and drawn into the spell undoubtedly cast by the Count himself.

Trond Holter lays down some killer riffs that are as razor-sharp and deadly as the villain’s fangs, and his lead guitar work slices the air like cold surgical steel. Vocalist Jorn Lande delivers some of the most powerful, emotionally-charged vocals I have heard in a long time, sucking you into this dark, twisted tale. This record feels custom made for the theatre, perhaps a heavy metal opera of sorts, and the best way for me to explain it accurately is as a darker, more sinister take on the Transiberian Orchestra, but on steroids. Indeed, there were times when Lande’s voices reminded me a lot of the great Jon Oliva and early Savatage.

Dracula: Swing of Death‘s production is pristine, complete with sound effects and spoken word parts that really add to the narrative, propelling the listener along the victim’s damnable path of eventual destruction at the hands of the monster. I just finished listening to this disc for the third time through today and I honestly can’t say enough good things about it, it really is that captivating. Give it a spin, we dare you.

Track Listing:

01. Hands Of Your God
02. Walking On Water
03. Swing Of Death
04. Masquerade Ball
05. Save Me
06. River Of Tears
07. Queen of The Dead
08. Into The Dark
09. True Love Through Blood
10. Under The Gun

Run Time: 47:15
Release Date: January 27, 2015

Check out the ‘Dracula: Swing of Death’ trailer