DragonForce
The Power Within


4.0
excellent

Review

by Greg Viessman USER (44 Reviews)
April 15th, 2012 | 176 replies | 27,551 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Tempo changes, Audible Bass, and Emotional Solos? How in the world is this a Dragonforce album?

31 of 31 thought this review was well written

For some reason the past year in music has not been too exciting. I can pretty much sum it up by splurging over Imaginaerum Amon Amarth and Gotye/Foster the People songs. But aside from that there has not been enough time or enough care for finding any new gems. Luckily for this power metal fiend, good old Dragonforce has decided to release a new album. Anyone who has heard the band before knows what to expect from these guys: over the top singing, endless double bass drumming, and the cheesiest, speedy, and most ridiculous guitar sounds in the history of music. Something about this new album, entitled The Power Within, takes me back to 2004 and 2005. I was a fourteen/fifteen year old trying to find my musical identity and found it in power metal.

The first thing people will notice about the band is that they have a new lead singer. To be frank, he is pretty awesome. Holding On has Marc Hudson showing his pipes from the beginning. His vocal register is clearly higher than previous vocalist ZP Theart and is a perfect replacement. Since he does not belt out high notes exclusively, the rest of his stuff is decent too. Cry Thunder and Seasons are the perfect examples to demonstrate the capability of Hudson. Even though he has an oddly similar sound to Bullet for My Valentine singer Matt Tuck, the tone of the vocals on this album are perfect for what the album is trying to accomplish.

For the first time in almost a decade, Dragonforce wants to show that they are more than just a band that plays the same song over the course of an album with a ballad thrown in for good measure. Sure, Herman and Sam play really fast on typical songs like Fallen World and Heart of the Storm but they reign themselves from going overboard like the two previous records. One key reason for this switch is that the songs are a whole lot shorter. Instead of nine minute epics scattered throughout, we are treated to four to five minute songs. This switch allows for a variety that the band has not possessed their debut. Guitar solos actually pack a punch as evident by the almost jazz/bluesy sound at the start of the solo in Wings of Liberty and the jaw dropping solo in Last Man Stands

This is not just a love fest for the vocals and guitars. The entire band steps up and makes some damn good power metal songs. Come to find out Dragonforce has a bassist named Frédéric Leclercq. Aside from a few bands like Lost Horizon and Kamelot, no one even knows that power metal bands have bassists because no one can hear them. Not only is it clearly audible, but the bass has solos…SOLOS!?!?!? Just listen to the aggressively sounding Give Me the Night and find out . As for the actual songs themselves, the band has created some of their best material. Cry Thunder is the obligatory mid tempo sing along song that is supposed to be catchy for the listener. Seasons is a throwback to the infancy of the genre with its happy lyrics, happy sound, and cheesy late 80s early 90s guitar sound that a fan of power metal understands perfectly. However, Die by the Sword is by far the best track. Maybe it is due to the song sounding like Blind Guardian sped up three times (seriously this is the best imitation of Andre Olbrich’s signature guitar sound that anyone has done). Maybe it is the cheesetastic bridge vocals leading into the solo. Whatever….only My Spirit Will Go On and Disciples of Babylon can be debated with this song as being the band’s best.

The Power Within is utterly fantastic. Marc Hudson’s arrival brings shorter songs, more variety of riffs, lack of Mach 5 guitar solos for 70 minutes, and a return to the band's roots combining the best of Valley of the Damned and Sonic Firestorm. Guitar solos are memorable. Songs are distinguishable and the keys, drums, and bass provide one of the best rhythm sections that the genre has seen in a very long time. This is easily the best power metal album in the past two years and that is something I did not think I would say about the band at this point in time. The final year of our existence has lasted almost four full months now and I can not help but wanting to take Dragonforce’s The Power Within on this magical journey to apocalypse. Sorry Amon Amarth you have been temporarily replaced.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Poet
April 15th 2012



5920 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Just can't retire from reviewing on this site.

Album came out today in the US and just might be the bands best...woah

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
April 15th 2012



49766 Comments


the white power within

Digging: Empire! Empire! (I Was a Lonely Estate) - You Will Eventually Be Forgotten

KSK1
April 15th 2012



4070 Comments


This band is really really gay. But I hate power metal as it is so I won't be listening to this.

Fluttertrank
April 15th 2012



17098 Comments


i love power metal. but dragonforce is kind of meh. but i might check this out.

ILJ
April 15th 2012



6615 Comments


Sorry, I have enough cheese in my diet as it is.

Digging: Mastodon - Once More 'Round the Sun

Devastator
April 15th 2012



2452 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

This band owes their fame to guitar hero.

KSK1
April 15th 2012



4070 Comments


Kids who play Magic the gathering are super stoked on this.

ILJ
April 15th 2012



6615 Comments


They are fun to listen to for the occasional lol though. Pretty bad that that's their main selling point.

Poet
April 15th 2012



5920 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Coming from someone who plays Magic the Gathering (a complicated game by the way) I actually was not stoked for this. I figured it would pretty much be what the band's done for the past six years.

KSK1
April 15th 2012



4070 Comments


Haha, no offense intended but this band is way too easy to troll. But i'll carry on.....

Eulogize
April 15th 2012



2968 Comments


WE CARRY ONNNNNNN

Nomos
April 15th 2012



807 Comments


I'd be excited if I was still 15. I'll give it a fair chance later though.

Fluttertrank
April 15th 2012



17098 Comments


only thing that sucks about this review is that you said "Sorry Amon Amarth you have been temporarily replaced" this band sounds nothing like Amon

Poet
April 15th 2012



5920 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

If you read my Surtur Rising review you'd understand why I said that. It's a very subtle sign to tell
people to read my other reviews....duh!!

Archelaos
April 15th 2012



241 Comments


I'm still very sceptical, but I love your writing. The one thing thing I'm really questioning is your comment about the solos being emotional. I'll vote 'yes' for your review though.

Fluttertrank
April 15th 2012



17098 Comments


@poet oh ok, i guess i understand why you said that.

ZombicidalMan
April 15th 2012



1710 Comments


Checked out some of the songs you praised, they did nothing for me. Something about the guitar tone just irks me, I think. Dragonforce never have done anything really interesting, ever...

That being said, this was a good review, and I agree with many of your points - especially the addition of audible bass.

Funeralopolis
April 15th 2012



10999 Comments


Review is excellent, you have me really curious to check this out now.

Digging: Sweet Smoke - Just A Poke

paxman
April 15th 2012



4084 Comments


I have a Dragonforce cover band called Dragonfarce. We play their songs at 1/4 of the original tempo

Urinetrouble
April 15th 2012



5754 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

wait a sec do people actually like bad music? holy revelations batman



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