DragonForce
Ultra Beatdown


1.5
very poor

Review

by Dying. Feed us? USER (6 Reviews)
January 18th, 2011 | 104 replies | 5,729 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Ultra Beatdown is the reason this type of music should not take itself too seriously.

13 of 14 thought this review was well written

Let me clarify by saying that yes, the instrumentation on this album is fantastic. The notes are all blazing fast, and realistically, only the greatest shredders would be able to pull off most of the acrobatics on display here. However, Dragonforce’s greatest strength is also its greatest of innumerable weaknesses.

To begin, I’m just curious who thought naming an album Ultra Beatdown was a legitimately good idea. Such a title essentially forces anybody to admit that what it is they are about to listen should not, under any circumstances, be taken seriously. Although I do have to admit that for someone who has never heard Dragonforce before, the sort of music you would expect to hear with such a title is exactly what you get. You know, assuming the band name didn’t already give that away.

That sound that has been so perfectly foreshadowed essentially sounds the result of several college frat boys gathered together in a room, two of whom are decided it would be fun to masturbate with guitar strings, while another watches, shrieking gratingly about his fantasy exploits, with a bassist sitting morosely in the corner doing absolutely nothing, watching his friends sit around and enjoy themselves in their divergent ways.

Of course, this hour long masturbating session is showered with praise by anyone who discovered the band through Guitar Hero 3, or, as it is commonly called, the entire fan base. Anybody who claims to be able to listen to Through the Fire and Flames endlessly on repeat has an instant classic in Ultra Beatdown, considering it is that very same song, reprised eight different times. I feel it is here I must admit that, while I have never been able to take Herman Li, Sam Totman, and the other basically non-essential band members used to support those two’s vision of endless guitar wank, seriously, I did enjoy Through the Fire and Flames, because it doesn’t sound as if the band was taking themselves too seriously, either. All that has changed here, however.

Perhaps the praise bestowed upon guitar flurries so fast that one note is indecipherable from the next has gone to their collective heads. I’m not entirely sure of the reason, but the tongue-in-cheek pretension that made Inhuman Rampage and Valley of the Damned at least an occasionally entertaining, if not incredibly rewarding listen, has been replaced by honest pretension. I can’t escape the feeling that Dragonforce thinks that this glorified atonal mass that essentially sounds like the soundtrack of an old 8-bit game with higher production values, is serious music. I enjoy a good wholesome game of Frogger as much as the next guy, but not even teenagers nostalgic for a time period they never lived in would be interested in listening to those endless electronic bleeps and bloops for a full hour, unless I feel the artist involved is doing this as some well intentioned prank. Although, I guess I must be wrong in such a generalization, because this band has made a career of taking the soundtracks from old 80s games, hopping the tempos up on some ecstasy, and then shredding them within a wood chipper, Fargo style.

Finally, the lyrics are absolutely awful. I understand, the words to a song are by far the least important aspect, and there have been an impossibly many bands who write awful lyrics that I whole-heartedly adore. However, when these fantasy lyrics arrive, it is Ultra Beatdown’s final nail in the coffin. I have nothing against fantasy lyricism, I’ll say that right off the bat. I consider Nightfall in Middle Earth, from the fabulous Blind Guardian to be a staple of the power metal genre. But needless to say, there is a fairly sizable gap between Tolkien themed lore, and the meaningless doodles of a fifth grader who should be paying greater attention to his phonics teacher. As is likely obvious, this band tends towards the latter. I only mention this because after the malicious attack of a pair of musically disinclined chainsaws, the lyrics are the last refuge in which it is possible to find perhaps some small redeeming value. Unfortunately, no such luck.

In conclusion, I understand many people who have never been instructed in anything even resembling musical theory may enjoy this, and I respect them and their opinions. So, to sate their desires until yet another Dragonforce release, I would like to take this opportunity to announce the distribution of my new album: a series of tracks involving high powered automatic drills boring through the skulls of assorted small, furry animals.



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user ratings (580)
Chart.
2.3
average
other reviews of this album
psycho888999 (4)
HYPERSPEED!!...

PrettyKateMachine (4)
Too Much of a Good Thing? No way. This album fits right in the familiar Dragonforce mold, but with ...

John weathered old reviewer Hanson STAFF (2)
It's a passable album if you are crazy about power metal. However, the rest of us are sitting here c...

Greg Viessman (3.5)
Time to Receive An ULTRA BEATDOWN!! Too bad it doesn't feel that ULTRA Since We've Gotten This Befor...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Xenophanes
Emeritus
January 18th 2011



10585 Comments


You should change your username.

Digging: United Nations - The Next Four Years

porcupinetheater
January 18th 2011



103 Comments


I only use that as my username because it's a combination of two bands I absolutely love: Porcupine Tree and Dream Theater. And I think it's better than Dream Tree, Dream Porcupine, or something along those lines.

Fugue
January 18th 2011



7352 Comments


DreamTree.

TheBloodTypo
January 18th 2011



757 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

"That sound that has been so perfectly foreshadowed essentially sounds the result of several college frat boys gathered together in a room, two of whom are decided it would be fun to masturbate with guitar strings, while another watches, shrieking gratingly about his fantasy exploits, with a bassist sitting morosely in the corner doing absolutely nothing, watching his friends sit around and enjoy themselves in their divergent ways."

YES. Pos'd.

Lucid
Contributing Reviewer
January 18th 2011



7021 Comments


This is crap but I don't see why anyone should actively care about this.

Digging: Shabazz Palaces - Lese Majesty

Romulus
January 18th 2011



8411 Comments


i remember someone was once like "when did it become cool to hate on this band?"

when was it ever cool to like them? they suck so badly

porcupinetheater
January 18th 2011



103 Comments


^This is true


Xenophanes
Emeritus
January 18th 2011



10585 Comments


Review is good though

Kris.
January 18th 2011



12152 Comments


band is lolbad

ShinXetsu
January 18th 2011



605 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Reasons to Live is actually a pretty good song by power metal standards imo, the rest of it however is pure unadulterated horseshit.

tkxxx7
January 18th 2011



6152 Comments


pos'd. my little brother and his friend think this band is awesome

porcupinetheater
January 18th 2011



103 Comments


I believe Reasons to Live is perhaps only coated in horseshit, as opposed to being the steaming pile itself, as many of the other songs are.

porcupinetheater
January 18th 2011



103 Comments


Do your little brother and his friends play guitar hero, by any chance? ;)

porcupinetheater
January 18th 2011



103 Comments


sonictheplumber: Every single alternate band name you've created here are legitimately better than the actual title. Congratulations!

acADHDemy
January 18th 2011



1129 Comments


my riend KILL rly likes this shit

tkxxx7
January 18th 2011



6152 Comments


@porcupine I actually bought one of the Nintendo DS games for him, idk about his friend tho

the DS game doesn't have Dragonforce, I don't think

G3N3R1C
January 18th 2011



1945 Comments


lol fagonforce

Sadly, i actually WAS into this band before GH3. Hell, even before Inhuman Chaos (or whatever it was fucking called, cant be arsed to check) came out.... yeah, i used to listen to a lot of garbage, don't ask...

Drsmith4
January 18th 2011



1712 Comments


Honestly, this is the worst album title I've ever heard in my life.

krig9412
January 18th 2011



794 Comments


People still listen to this? Christ I thought Between the Buried and Me were getting tons of new fans because of Guitar Hero.

porcupinetheater
January 18th 2011



103 Comments


Between the Buried and Me is on Guitar Hero? Crap, first they have the worst of power metal, now the worst of whatever the hell BtBaM is?



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