DragonForce
Ultra Beatdown


3.5
great

Review

by Greg Viessman USER (44 Reviews)
August 18th, 2008 | 114 replies | 10,521 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Time to Receive An ULTRA BEATDOWN!! Too bad it doesn't feel that ULTRA Since We've Gotten This Before. Good Thing The Execution Hasn't Gotten Boring Yet.

7 of 7 thought this review was well written

In 2007, the hit video game franchise Guitar Hero released its latest installment: Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock. Upping the ante in difficulty by adding such songs as Raining Blood and One, the game frustrated players. One song stood above the rest in terms of craziness though: Through the Fire and the Flames. Suddenly Dragonforce had reached a new group of listeners as they drooled over the speed of the song. With the popularity of the song, sales for Dragonforce albums shot over 100% (still trying to figure that one out) and the public showed the band was here to stay. On August 26th, Dragonforce's latest effort Ultra Beatdown is released.

So how does the new record stand up to its predecessors? Well not only does it have a ridiculously named, but awesome, title it also sounds like everything else the band has done. A change of style definitely wasn't in the band's mind while recording this. And since the band's formula hasn't change from the beginning, I have decided to do the same type of review as my very first one. Get ready for the same old traditional track by track review.

Dragonforce has had a nice reputation for putting out stellar opening tracks and Heroes Of Our Time is nothing different. Like Through the Fire and the Flames, a nice little build up starts the song until we are greeted by a frenzy of guitarwork. ZP enters the fray singing in a nice melodic way (his vocals are always underrated). We are then greeted by a nice catchy chorus. Another verse is sung followed by another chorus. The best part of the song comes in with a nifty little interlude. Vadim plays this gorgeous part on the keys while ZP sings away. Now we have reached the solo. Welcome to Mach 5 speed people. Digitally enhanced or not, Herman and Sam are flailing away while Dave keeps a fast steady pace behind the kit. The song concludes with a verse/chorus combo.

The Fire Still Burns starts out a bit differently as the hectic guitars don't start until after ZP sings at the beginning.. The rest of the formula sticks though. At around 1:25 we reach what has to be the longest pre-chorus/chorus ever. Starting with vocals by the rest of the band, which are the best vocals are the entire album surprisenly, it turns to ZP to do the chorus. At 5:13 solo land has approached once again. A chorus ends the best song on the album.

The first twenty-seven seconds of Reasons To Live seem like the band is changing things up a little bit. The drums are going faster than normal and weird synthesizer effects are being used. By the time the forty-five second mark comes around, we are greeted by Through the Fire and the Flames. Yes, I am serious. Thankfully Vadim changes up the entire tone and mood of the song near the three minute mark. He even solos during the solo too, making it into a different kind of solo for the band. The song ends with a chorus like always.

Ok, so the extremely detailed track by track is getting boring already. They are always tedious and predictable. And well, that is what this album is like. Same old formula is used for every single song. The tempo changes in a song like The Last Journey Home is nice, but it doesn't sustain the entire eight minutes as the band felt like turning the speed up to that of Usain Bolt. The solos are always fast and always sound the same, even if the songs are completely different, which isn't exactly the case. Even the obligatory Dragonforce ballad, which in this case is A Flame For Freedom, has to have the wankery during the solo. The final two tracks bring the same emotion and execution as the first five songs brought, fast and melodic.

Fast and melodic is actually a great thing for Dragonforce. They are able to create nice catchy songs when they do this style. The biggest problem is that they are totally unable to write a variety of songs. Yeah power metal is supposed to be fast and deal with themes like swords, dragons, and emotion, but other power metal bands like Lost Horizon and Kamelot are able to have more than different variety of songs that stand out.

One thing that Dragonforce has for them is that they are incredible musicians. The guitars are amazing (again digitally enchanced or not), and I am happy Vadim got a bit of a bigger role on the album (Welcome to Valley of the Damned pt. 2). Dave Mackintosh also performs his best performance to date on here as well. And for ZP Theart, well, he's always been a great vocalist and nothing changed.

Ultra Beatdown as a whole is completely one-dimensional, sans the ballad which sounds like their other ballads. While being fun, catchy, and making me feel incredibly awesome while listening, repetition kills the album like it did on Inhuman Rampage. It's a step up from that record in terms of using the band's full talents, but can not get a better rating, or even the same rating, because of the repetition and occasional boring song(i.e Heartbreak Armageddon and The Warrior Inside), and the fact this didn't make an impact on me the same way Inhuman Rampage achieved. If the next album doesn't change things up a bit, Dragonforce's fire may not still be burning, and it may be their last journey home. But for now, in the power metal community, they are heroes of our time because my favorite genre is getting mainstream attention. And hey, bringing more listeners to hear the music I adore is still a good thing. So Dragonforce gets props for that.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Poet
August 18th 2008



5921 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This is streaming on their myspace right now.

SHOOTME
August 18th 2008



2393 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this is much funner and more enjoyable then Inhuman.

still good reviewThis Message Edited On 08.18.08

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
August 18th 2008



17920 Comments


zp theart is a faggot

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
August 18th 2008



16083 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

oh
i guess maybe i should write my review

Poet
August 18th 2008



5921 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I like ZP

lol John, I've had this written for almost two weeks now. I was just waiting for it to either be posted on their myspace or just wait for the release date.

Wizard
August 18th 2008



19304 Comments


And well, that is what this album is like. Same old formula is used for every single song.

Thats all I needed to know. Good review!

Digging: Downer - Downer

Mikesn
Emeritus
August 18th 2008



3709 Comments


it's exciting because they play fast

Monticello
August 18th 2008



805 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Better than IR, but still lame as hell.

Wizard
August 18th 2008



19304 Comments


The stream I'm listening to is actually kind of uplifting in a sense. That will probably wear off after a few more listens though.

Cesar
August 18th 2008



2732 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I liked IR more than this, this is kind of meh.

marksellsuswallets
August 18th 2008



4848 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I'll probably just download the single off of this or something if I'm ever feeling fruity enough to listen. I see no point in paying for the same album after buying the last one.

Good review by the way.This Message Edited On 08.18.08

Bleak123
August 18th 2008



1902 Comments


I hate dragonforce, they're a gay mans metal. Don't get me wrong, I'm not beating on the gays but sheesh! Basically this sucks like the rest of Dragonforce's discog. On another note, good review.This Message Edited On 08.18.08

BallsToTheWall
August 18th 2008



44164 Comments


Worst day of my life when I saw these guys live. Fortunately, Chimaira was there and Mark Hunter is the fuckin man. Nice review poet but yeah, I don't have any real interest.

Bleak123
August 18th 2008



1902 Comments


Mark Hunter is rule.

OllieS
August 18th 2008



2030 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

The 'sales shot over 100%' thing basically means the sales doubled. Thanks for the review.

Poet
August 18th 2008



5921 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I know that the sales doubled, but I was making a joke as to it shooting over 100% which is logically not correct.



Willie
Moderator
August 18th 2008



15900 Comments


Great review. I have IR and can only make it through the first four tracks before it gets redundant so I don't think a new album of material is going to be my thing either.

P13
August 18th 2008



1327 Comments


zp theart is a faggot

this
Well not only does it have a ridiculously named,

wut? You have some spelling/grammar mistakes but overall the review was good. You
can sum up the review with: If you like Dragonforce, you'll like this. If not, then
you won't.
This Message Edited On 08.18.08

Shoot Them
August 18th 2008



81 Comments


they you won't

P13
August 18th 2008



1327 Comments


oopsie daisy



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