When an established rocker launches a side band, sometimes the results can be head-scratchingly similar to their main group, or a complete different sound/approach all together. Founding Testament guitarist Eric Peterson's side band, Dragonlord, is indeed metal-based (as most would expect), but instead of continuing on the thrash metal path of Testament, Dragonlord specializes in black metal -- case in point, their 2005 sophomore effort, Black Wings of Destiny. While metal fans have known for quite some time that Peterson is one of thrash metal's better rhythm guitarists, few knew that he is in fact a singer to boot, as he also handles vocal chores for Dragonlord. And as evidenced by photos of the band, it would quite hard to even recognize Peterson (as the group favors the black metal "uniform" -- ghoulish makeup, black outfits that are heavy on the studs, pointy guitars, etc.). Despite the "disguise," there's no hiding that Peterson easily adapts to his new surroundings, as he sounds as if he's been a black metallist for life throughout Black Wings of Destiny. Goth keyboards/guitar riffs and rapid-fire drumming are offered by the truckload, especially on such tracks as the album-opening one-two punch of "The Becoming Of"/"The Curse of Woe," and "Until the End." And the band wraps things up with a surprisingly strong cover of the Thin Lizzy classic "Emerald" as Peterson momentarily abandons his growl for more melodic vocalizing.
AllMusic Review by Greg Prato