Review Summary: DragonForce release Valley Of The Damned for the second time with a different title and packaging.
DragonForce – Inhuman Rampage
On this album:
ZP Theart – vocals, backing vocals
Herman Li – lead & rhythm guitars, backing vocals, mixing, engineering, artwork
Sam Totman – lead & rhythm guitars, backing vocals, mixing
Vadim Pruzhanov – keyboards, piano, backing vocals, mixing
Dave Mackintosh – drums, backing vocals
DragonForce is a power metal band from Europe. They are all apparently “virtuosos” at their respected instruments. This is not true as they can’t play live. (Just watch a bit of the video I started this review off with). Ignoring the stupid cover and song titles, this album is mainly just a bunch of studio trickery, A major 7 guitar licks, cheesy vocals, guitar wankery, annoying video game noises, more guitar wankery, non existent bass playing from some French dude who isn’t even on the album, and even more guitar wankery. Inhuman Rampage manages to provide a few good songs but it all just blends together and before the halfway point you will just be hoping for it to end.
The CD kicks off with a blast with “Through the Fire and Flames”, an extremely overplayed song thanks to games like Guitar Hero III. The keyboard line at the beginning is interesting and there is a cool effect on the guitar. Then all the instruments come in and the lead guitar is molested with a bunch of stupid video game like effects and it sounds like it is being raped by Pac-Man or something. Once ZP’s vocals join in, the song sounds like every other DragonForce song they have written. As usual, after the generic DragonForce song structure, there isan hour of soloing as if they have to prove the album ULTRA KICKS YOUR ASS! Unfortunately, this is one of the better songs on the album.
For the most part, the album gets worse from there. I will dedicate this section to the other 5 or so songs that sound exactly the same here. “Revolution DeathSquad”, “Operation Ground and Pound”, “Cry For Eternity”, “Storming The Burning Fields”, and “The Flame Of Youth” pretty much all sound like “Through The Fire and The Flames”. Other then sounding like TTAF “Revolution DeathSquad” has some really bad background screams in a pre-chorus.
“Operation Ground and Pound” has a really annoying slow harmonized guitar intro that they’ve done at least like 5 times. The verses in this song are terrible and the chorus’s are probably some of the cheesiest on the album:
Cry far away, as we reach for the day
Blasting our way through the punishment and the pain
Reach for the world, as the sky begins to fall
Rising through the darkened ashes praying that I'll see you all
NOTE: All the lyrics are quite similar to this.
“Cry For Eternity” has exactly the same intro as “Operation Ground And Pound” after the bad attempt at being epic in the intro, they go into the usual formula of fast punk beats and annoying lyrics and guitar sounds. When ZP yells: CRRYY FOR ETERNITYYYYYY!!! I want to cut off my ears and jump off the Grand Canyon while shooting myself. There are more really bad “harsh” vocals in this song, along with tinny video game noises. Lastly, there is nothing to say about “Storming Through the Burning Fields”, it’s just a rehash and/or mixture of all of these other songs with even more high pitched video game effects then ever. It’s pretty bad.
“Body Breakdown” is probably the best song on this album. It features an interesting intro with some good drum fills and beats. Even though it has generic DragonForce-esque sections, it still is probably the best song they have ever written and I actually enjoy listening to it as it has a few ambient parts and they aren’t always going all out like they usually do. There is as usual a 3 minute solo section but at least this time there are some interesting bass and keyboard lines instead of just the same wankery from Ri and Totman (Although we get a lot of that too).
“Trail of Broken Hearts” is the same ballad track that DragonForce put on every album once. The introduction is kind of promising but then it sounds like something out of a d-grade Christmas flick from the 50s. The determined guitar duo still manage to include a guitar solo though and it’s pretty bad. Because it’s slow-paced, you realize how bad their lead tone is. It’s really twangy and it sounds like all the notes are pinch-harmonics.
To conclude, don’t waste your money on this album. It’s a piece of garbage and they are just ripping you off by putting the same song on an album 6 times with different stupid titles, writing one decent song, and then rehashing the ballad off of Sonic Firestorm. This really should have been a 3 song demo. Even then, it would still be pretty bad. Just go download “Body Breakdown” and ignore everything else unless you want cancer in your ears. Highlight of the album? Probably the bass playing, because you can barely hear it, and it’s not any of the other instruments in this band.