Review Summary: Two of the minds behind Dragonforce started off in Demoniac, a relatively amusing Blackened Power Metal act.Dragonforce
have started to reach a pinnacle in the Power Metal genre. They're cheesy, fast and full of shred; in short, they're totally fuck
ing Power Metal. If you listen to their latest release, Inhuman Rampage
, you'll notice some fairly silly harsh vocals in the background. Those vocals were done by a man known as Behemoth, a former member of the Blackened Power Metal group Demoniac
. Demoniac was a fun lovin' group who got their kicks 'fuck
ing lots of sluts' and 'drinkin lots of booze'. Where am I going with this? Well, Behemoth isn't the only former Demoniac member on the latest Dragonforce album, in fact, there's two more to be found. You may have heard of them, but just to be sure, let me point them out for you; Sam "Heimdall" Totman and Herman "Shred" Li.
You may have noticed that I said Demoniac was Blackened Power Metal, and while that's true, I feel it requires further explanation. When they started out, you could have said they were Powerful Black Metal, a statement nearly as tacky as the lyrics the band puts to paper. With their second album, Stormblade
, Demoniac tossed some of their black metal sound out the window and upped the power, as well as adding an odd and punky Van Halen like slant, a slant which thankfully disappeared by their third and final album. The Fire and the Wind
was released in 1999, and was highly indicative of what we'd come to know as the Dragonforce sound.
The sound is pretty easy to describe; take early, Valley of the Damned
era Dragonforce, remove ZP Theart in exchange for some blackened (and shit
ty) vocals care of Behemoth and instead of cheesy fantasy based lyrics, throw in some sex, drugs and Hitler metal. Yes, I said Hitler metal. A strongpoint on the album is the instrumental work, well, at least with the guitars, and particularly the guitar parts played by "Shred". While he was still quite young at the time of this albums release, I almost prefer his shredding on this album to his later 'Force work. While it may not be as complex, the solos don't carry on for 5 minutes, a major plus in my mind. Overall, the guitars lean more towards the Power Metal side of things, particularly due to their technical edge, however you'll definitely notice a Black Metal influence lingering, particularly with the rhythm guitar of "Heimdall". The drums, well, they're alright. The pacing of the songs is, at least in comparison to the 'Force, fairly mid-tempo, often times managing to come off a little punkish. The bass is nothing special, it basically follows the guitars or the drums, occasionally straying out on it's own with a decent sounding yet fairly bland fill. The vocals, as I've already hinted, are the weakest link. Behemoth has a fairly gravely snarl, and it really doesn't work. Let's just say I never thought I'd see the day where I actually missed ZP's voice.
Is this album impressive? I guess. I mean, it's nowhere near the quality of say, Valley of the Damned
, but it's not as contrived and repetitive as the later Dragonforce releases. The guitarwork as expected is a major draw for fans, as despite his age, Herman most definitely lives up to his shred moniker. When listening to this album, you'll definitely notice that Dragonforce 'borrowed' a lot from this band, but you'll also notice they greatly improved upon it.
It's a pretty good album, until (depending on your sense of humour, or lack there of) you read the lyrics. I mean they're not bad, per se, but their whole "we're so evil, we're so metal, party, party, sex, and more sex" shtick gets tired fairly fast. I will concede to the fact that the lyrics to Demoniac Spell
are still pretty hilarious, though. See the end of this review for a passage from the song. If you do plan to pay attention to the lyrics, be sure not to take them seriously. At one point, in Myths Of Metal
, the band shouts out "HITLER METAL! SIEG HEIL!
". Now, the band is not racist, though from what I hear Sam and Herman do like to drop the N-Bomb fairly frequently. They're just immature, and trying to get a rise out of the listener. Here's an official quote on the issue.
Originally Posted by Demoniac
Note: For the NERDS... No this song is NOT about
Hilter or any of your politics bull***! If you don't
get the joke, *** off. This song is about banging to
heavy ***ing metal and having a good laugh. We don't
give a *** about Hitler. *** off if you don't have a
sense of humour.
For fans of Dragonforce, I highly recommend listening to this, otherwise I simply suggest it, if you have the time. It's a decent album, no doubt, but I'd Valley of the Damned
over this any day. Hell, I'd take Sonic Firestorm
over this. It's cool to see where the trademark Dragonforce sound came from, but the fact is this album has many inconsistencies and the immaturity gets old quick.
If you don't like our metal then you're a fucking fool
fucking loads of sluts
and drinking loads of booze
Studded wrists and bullet belts
it's metal all the way
If you're not into metal
then you are fucking gay
- Demoniac, "Demoniac Spell".