DragonForce
Sonic Firestorm


4.0
excellent

Review

by Mike Stagno EMERITUS
November 18th, 2006 | 123 replies


Release Date: 2004 | Tracklist


DragonForce is a band you either love or hate. To some, they represent all that is important to the power metal genre. Others find their approach to be distasteful and over the top. Some find their music to be quite entertaining; while to detractors their music is unnecessary wanking. Me, I've learned to enjoy DragonForce, especially after seeing them live. To be honest, their newest album Inhuman Rampage didn't really impress me all that much, aside from a few songs. But the band's second full length offering, Sonic Firestorm, I enjoy that album. It was through this album that I, and most likely many others, became a fan of DragonForce. Of the band's first three records, Sonic Firestorm feels like the most complete album. So without further adieu…

As many of you know, DragonForce's sound is rooted in power metal. But not just any power metal. You see, the band is quite fond of proudly proclaiming themselves to be extreme power metal and the fastest band on the planet, or something to that effect. Vanity, thy name is DragonForce. Or something. But anyways, there is some truth to DragonForce's claims. Speed is an important part of the band's formula. For the most part, the tempo of Sonic Firestorm can be effectively categorized into two groups: fast, fast, and fast. Of course, on the ballad-esque tracks, the extremely high speeds decreases slightly, but the energy of each member is still present. Surprisingly, through all these lightning fast performances, the band still manages to present the listener with precise, well thought out melodies. The guitar tandem of Herman Li and Sam Totman really excel playing this type of music. Throughout Sonic Firestorm their long, impressive solos often set the tone of the music. The speed and intensity that the pair plays with is quite flooring, and extremely fun to listen to. Tracks like Fury of the Storm and My Spirit Will Go On (which happens to be my favourite DragonForce song) showcase the talents of DragonForce's guitarists quite well. DragonForce's melodic style of playing is quite enjoyable, and fans of power metal should especially like it.

However, all is not sunshine and cookies. Sonic Firestorm is by no means a perfect album. Perhaps my biggest qualm with the record lies in the extremely long song lengths. Only two of the songs are less than six minutes long, and because of this the album might get tiring to listen to after awhile. Especially since the structure of some of the songs is quite similar. Songs like Soldiers of the Wasteland or Once in a Lifetime fall victim to this con, and could probably have been shortened a bit without hurting the song, and this would likely have made the album somewhat easier to listen to, especially to new fans of the band. Another aspect that might be an issue to some is in fact the soloing. Though I quite enjoy this part of the band's arsenal, it might be too over the top for some to properly digest. The speed and technique that Herman and Sam employ can often feel unnecessary; especially in a song that nearly reaches nine minutes in length. But different strokes for different folks, I guess.

DragonForce has made quite the name for themselves over the past few years. They've amazed many with their speediness, energy, and precision (at least in the studio). They've headlined several tours, and had a spot on Ozzfest 06. But most importantly, they've succeeded in producing a trio of solid, consistent albums. Their Sonic Firestorm album, which was released in 2004, is definitely their strongest yet, as it combines the important elements needed to create a successful album. Epic, effortless, energetic, heavy, fast, and melodic are all adjectives which could describe the band's second album, and are all adjectives which any band in this field could use. With this release, DragonForce shows the power metal realm that they are a force to be reckoned with, and definitely a band to look out for in the future. If you're going to get a DragonForce album, this is the one to get.

Recommended Tracks:
My Spirit Will Go On
Prepare for War
Fury of the Storm
Soldiers of the Wasteland



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Angmar
November 18th 2006


2689 Comments


Good review i think this is my fav Dragonforce album.

Lunarfall
November 18th 2006


3179 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

I disagree with your view on Soldiers of the Wasteland's length, as I think it's quite fine and I can listen to it all the way through easily because there aren't any weak spots in that song at all. Good review.

This could've been better than Valley of the Damned, but Fields of Despair ruined it.This Message Edited On 11.18.06

Hatshepsut
November 18th 2006


1997 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yay reviewing binge.
This album's solid. The intro for My Spirit Will Go On rules.

Bfhurricane
November 18th 2006


6197 Comments


Great review. I don't own this, I'll have to pick it up once I'm tired of "Inhuman Rampage" (yep I'm one of those guys who has never even heard of Dragonforce before that came out)

Hatshepsut
November 18th 2006


1997 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Eh it's okay, I heard of pretty much nothing before I found this site. Now I've heard tons of music.

Shattered_Future
November 18th 2006


1540 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is the best album out of the three. Which is odd, considering they only wrote about 2 songs...

I can only listen to about 1 or 2 songs before I get tired of this band, but those 1 or 2 songs are excellent. Some great, cheesy as all hell music that isn't afraid to kick you square in the nuts if you don't like it.

Mikesn
Emeritus
November 18th 2006


3709 Comments


Eh it's okay, I heard of pretty much nothing before I found this site. Now I've heard tons of music.

Same, pretty much.
I can only listen to about 1 or 2 songs before I get tired of this band, but those 1 or 2 songs are excellent.

Same here, sort of. I can listen to most of the tracks on this album, but Inhuman Rampage gets tiring pretty quickly.

...Even if they sound similar.

Atica
November 18th 2006


42 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is my favorite album of this band, I love the songs, and this was the album that got me into the band. Inhuma Rampage also has that boring effect on me.


The Door Mouse
November 18th 2006


2092 Comments


I just downloaded Inhuman. my first dragonforce album. cool review.

Intransit
November 18th 2006


2797 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Good review. I agree wholeheartedly, although I like Inhuman Rampage a bit better.

The Sludge
November 18th 2006


2169 Comments


Idk, Cry Of The Brave has one of the more better intro's I've heard in my brief career in Power Metal.

Thor
November 18th 2006


10192 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This will be a classic in the power metal genre a few years down the road I think. Just about every song on here is good, especially 1, 2, 6, and 8.

Mikesn
Emeritus
November 18th 2006


3709 Comments


Hmm, I thought track 8 was one of the weaker songs on the album. Not bad, but behind Prepare for War and Above the Winter Moonlight.

Dethtrasher
November 19th 2006


2211 Comments


Christ dude, every time I log on to sputnik there are new reviews from you all the time. Mighty fine job :thumb:This Message Edited On 11.19.06

Mikesn
Emeritus
November 19th 2006


3709 Comments


Thanks Deth.

Altmer
November 20th 2006


5652 Comments


I liked Sonata Arctica, Blind Guardian and Nightwish.... I can't find any albums of these guys anywhere.

Should I get this or give up the search?

Mikesn
Emeritus
November 20th 2006


3709 Comments


Keep looking, it should turn up eventually.

Or maybe order it or something. But this is definitely worth it.

Dragonforce89
December 30th 2008


331 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

One of the best albums in my opinion nothing is bad with it.
Maybe Fields of Despair are decent. Fury of the storm hell yeah.

gaslightanthem
December 30th 2008


5209 Comments


are you embarrassed by your username?
i feel the need to ask again

Dragonforce89
December 30th 2008


331 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Shut up please or go to hell.



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