Review Summary: Fast and cheesy. That's all that this band stands for. Might be good, might be bad...
Dragonforce – Inhuman Rampage
Herman Li = Guitarist/backing vocals
Sam Totman = Guitarist/backing vocals
ZP Hearth = Vocals
Dave Mackintosh = Drums/backing vocals
Vadim Pruzhanov = Keyboards/backing vocals
Fred Leclercq = Bass/backing vocals
This extreme power metal band is the successor of the computer game sound only a few bands tried to control. They took the Nintendo sounds and made it into a song. To be more exact, they are Sonic. If Sonic: the Hedgehog would be a band, he’d be this band. Incredible fast, with lots of happy high-pitched sounds throughout. Lots of weird noises between the riffs, and the never-ending stamina. That’s basically what this band stands for. It’s Dragonforce and it will stay Dragonforce.
Dragonforce equals speed. Whether you like them or not, you can’t deny that the two guitarists are incredible fast. The drummer backs them up with great and speedy blast beats with sometimes a great fill throughout. The bass and keyboard are less heard through the album, but if they get their shine on the spotlight, they go nuts. A perfect example would be Body Breakdown
. Between all the guitars solo’s there are some gems of 3 solo’s. One of the keyboard, one of the bass and one combined with the guitarists. It’s short though, but still kick@ss. Then we have left the last member, the vocalist. He is the only one who doesn’t rely his talent on speed (thank god) but more on range. He is a typical power metal vocalist, which means cheesy lyrics, cheesy vocals but great range. That’s the problem though of the vocalist. I like many power metal bands such as Helloween or Hammerfall, so I am aware with cheesiness. ZP Theart however just crossed the line, it’s too much for me, I can’t handle it anymore and turn my eyes around. Why? I don’t know, but you understand my point, he is too cheesy. When those members are brought together, you have Dragonforce. Speedy and cheesy. That sounds great, but the final product is somewhat too overblown. Overblown and dull at the same time.
The biggest problem to me is the fact that the album is incredible repetive. Although every song is monstrous with the big solo parts and the high speed, the songs packed together as an album is a less appreciated result. Most of the riffs sound similar to each other, and I wouldn’t even be surprised when I found out that they used same riffs in different songs. I know, the riffs are very interesting (or fantastic), no doubt, but it’s less brilliant when it’s used over and over again. The solo’s that made Dragonforce famous are overrated if you’d ask me. Of course, there can’t possibly be any faster guitarist, but just like the riff-problem, they barely change their solo attitude. It’s all fast, happy, and the same.
Like I said, it all sounds the same. Songs as The Flame Of Youht
and Through The Fire And Flames
barely have any differences. They both have the same build-ups, solo lengths, riffs and solos and cheesy vocals. Almost every song is just like that, with some minor changes. Operation Ground And Pound
starts with a Chinese-influenced intro that stands alone in the track, and also has a chorus that shows some emotion. Woah! Yet, the other 6 minutes drag on too long, especially the solo parts and bridges. Storming The Burning Fields
is somewhat laidback compared to the other songs, and Body Breakdown
features a bass and keyboard solo. That’s also a thing I wonder. If there are such big solo parts, why are they mainly conquered by the guitarists? Doesn’t the bassist and keyboard-player want to show their skills. The skills they have, but barely show? It seems so. This is however not a big negative point, there are already enough solo’s to worry about the keyboard and bass.
The biggest surprise is probably the final song. Trail Of Broken Hearts
starts with a truly beautiful piano sided with a short guitar solo. When the verse starts you know that this is not the average Dragonforce you’re used to. Although the over-the-top cheesy vocals and high guitars are present, there are some major differences that makes this song a standout of the album. Firstly, the speed is low, very low. It’s as slow as a ballad, but still holds the power like the other songs do. Secondly, the guitars take a step backwards. Yes, of course there is a 1 minute solo part in it, but that’s already 2 to 3 minutes less than the other songs. That’s good to see, if Dragonforce would look to this song for inspiration when making their next album, I will be the first one to pick the CD up.
I don’t know what to do with this album. While I enjoy the incredible solo’s, I fall to sleep because of the repetive guitar riffs. I enjoy the high speed throughout the album, but sometimes cringe when hearing the vocals. If anybody would ask my opinion of Dragonforce I would say: Awesome as a single song, but lame as an album. That’s why I put the average rating on it.
Top 3 tracks
1. Trail Of Broken Hearts
2. Storming The Burning Fields
3. Revolution Deathsquad
Songs that I don’t care for
- Operation Ground And Pound (the intro is cool though)
- The Flame Of Youth
- Cry For Eternity (yeah, this songs seems like eternity)