Review Summary: A remarkable release that has former Dragonforce singer ZP Theart performing vocals with his new band. Too bad his fame didn't follow his career.
After Dragonforce’s unexpected departure of ZP Theart, speculation aroused that there will be without a doubt a new Dragonforce carbon-copy. However, there is an old saying: “association is not the causation”
. Everyone figured that Dragonforce was going to produce another speed/power metal album that won’t have any groundbreaking efforts. As an avid power metal fan, I’ll admit The Power Within
was a surprising effort from the British entourage of power wankers. They even somehow managed to pull off, dare I say, comeback of the year with their new writing process. Mainly because they didn’t play the same solo for 20 minutes in one song – they instead kept it at a respectable 2-3 minutes. With all of that said, I happened to remember ZP having a very talented vocal range, so I basically looked up if he was up to anything new to see what the whole commotion was about with “differing musical directions” that caused an unexpected divorce. Well, it’s safe to say that the musical directions ZP and Dragonforce wanted to do without a doubt clashed.
It wasn’t any surprise that Ultra Beatdown
received a negative backlash around the world. However, no matter how much you argue that Ultra Beatdown
is a carbon-copy of its predecessor there are distinctive characteristics that separate it from the rest of Dragonforce’s catalogue besides the solos. In Ultra Beatdown
the band tried desperately to blend slower paced rhythms with failed progressive approaches. After listening to The Power Within
and ZP’s new effort with I AM I’s Event Horizon
it makes more sense as to why Dragonforce fell off of the edge. ZP wanted to play a traditional approach to power and heavy metal by maintaining a modern melodic touch; Dragonforce wanted to shred and sing “SO FAR AWAYYYYYY”.
“This Is My Life” starts off with a slow paced power chord rhythm that seems kind of dull at first, but once ZP starts singing the song proves to be worth the while. About halfway through the song you’ll be wondering: where are the guitars? Why aren’t they interesting? Granted the guitars aren’t as flashy as, say, Herman Li, but they start to prove that they aren’t bland at all with a tasteful arpeggio that under layers the pre-chorus of ZP’s vocals. If that doesn’t excite you or get interested just wait till the solo kicks in, the solo has a nostalgic feel of Timo Tolkki’s playing style as well as Herman Li’s or Sam Totman’s. The main distinction between the three mentioned and that of Jacob Ziemba is that Jacob focuses on melody rather than mindless shredding.
The four following songs after the album opener all borderline anthem status or can be catalogued as an anthem of sorts. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re bad. In fact, they have more enjoyable quality then “This Is My Life”, especially “Cross the Line” and “Silent Genocide” which features superb guitar work, drumming, bass lines, as well as ZP’s best vocal performances. Even the album’s ballad, “King in the Ruins”, grasps the focus that most bands try to captivate during the song’s duration and that is emotion.
In conclusion, Event Horizon
provides more than just a handful of awesome power metal songs. The album portrays as to why Dragonforce is the way how it is and why Ultra Beatdown
and others receive negative reactions. No wonder why, Dragonforce’s The Power Within
features shorter songs, and why Event Horizon
features melody instead of mindless shredding. It’s because Dragonforce were trying to fuse two different formulas that don’t coincide together. Oh, yeah ZP doesn’t sing the words “SO FAR AWAY” at all during the entire album.
Cross the Line
In The Air Tonight
Stay A While