Review Summary: Inhuman Rampage is DragonForce's answer to over thought, shitty power metal. As Revolver put it, "DragonForce are Power Metal Saviors."
In the September 2006 issue of Revolver magazine, Dragonforce was referred to as "Power Metal Saviors", and I agree. Dragonforce is bringing back the speed and atmosphere that several power metal bands today are lacking. The amount of talent that each member of DragonForce possesses is awe inspiring, in fact, it's jaw dropping. On the newest album, Inhuman Rampage, DragonForce flew their musical muscles and put out one of the best power metal albums to date.
ZP Theart (Lead Vocals)
Herman Li (Guitars and Backing Vocals)
Sam Totman (Guitars and Backing Vocals)
Vadim Pruzhanov (Keyboards and Backing Vocals)
Dave Mackintosh (Drums and Backing Vocals)
Fred Leclercq (Bass and Vocals) - DID NOT PLAY ON THIS ALBUM
On Inhuman Rampage, almost every aspect of DragonForce's game got stepped up. Everything from the vocals to the shred-fests of Herman and Sam are flawless and executed with pinpoint accuracy. The atmosphere on songs like "Through the Fire and Flames" and "Revolution Deathsquad" will leave you quivering in their wake. They are very simply some of the best power metal songs I have ever heard.
Now this is not to say that DragonForce's past material is bad, it's just that Inhuman Rampage is that damn good. The vocal work by ZP is very very good, his range is nothing short of incredible. Several times on the album you will hear him reach into his falsetto and hit notes that are out of the range of any "normal" person. His lyrics are also nothing to complain about. As in past DF albums, his lyrics are full of battlefield and distant land imagery. It sounds like a dull, childish subject, but DF is able to pull it off with ease.
The instrumental work on this album is also phenomenal. Herman and Sam play riffs on every song that would qualify as solos for any other band. The solos they are able to create are also astonishing, sometimes they go off for 3 minutes and have shred-offs. However, don't think that they use mindless shredding as a scapegoat to avoid making meaningful solos, the solos are menaingful. They stay in key, compliment the song, and are not always played at finger blistering speeds. They show their dexterity on songs like "Trail of Broken Hearts" by playing soft leads over Vadim's simple yet effective piano work. Speaking of Vadim, he too show's his talent on Inhuman Rampage. On "Through the Fire and Flames" he plays a fast, intricate synth. riff right before the vocals begin, and uses his synth. to add a very mysterious element to the song. He is also able to make excellent use of his piano skills on the song "Trail of Broken Hearts." His piano part is nothing out of the ordinary, but it suites the song's need, and works in incredibly well with the rest of the band. As for drums, they are very, very fast throughout the entire album. The drum tracks are not overpowering, which I was surpirsed with, consider so many bands today turn up the drum volume to an annoying level. However I now must drop some bad news...the drumming is all more or less the same thing. It does vary very little from track to track, but that's the thing...very very little. And as for the bass, it's mostly inaudible, but not because it means any less, they just did not have a bassist to record on this album. They needed to hire someone to play, but when it's audible it's worth a listen...which I suppose you'e already realized isn't very often.
The way the songs are all put together are also very original. There are some songs with the ABABCB song structure, but DF seem to be breaking away from that. Songs like "Body Breakdown" and "Through the Fire and Flames" have solo breaks almost in between, well, everything...and the bridge and ending of almost the songs go through several different riffs and tempos. This makes for one hell of a power metal thrill ride.
1) Through the Fire and Flames - 9
2) Revolution Deathsquad - 8
3) Storming the Burning Fields - 8
4) Operation Ground and Pound - 8
5) Body Breakdown - 7
6) Cry for Eternity - 7
7) The Flame of Youth - 8
8) Trail of Broken Hearts - 7